HealthDay News — Family socioeconomic status in childhood is associated with the risk for metabolic syndrome and glucose abnormalities in adulthood, according to a study published in Diabetes Care.

Elina Puolakka, PhD, from the University of Turku in Finland, and colleagues followed 2250 participants from the longitudinal Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study cohort (ages 3 to 18 years at baseline) for 31 years. They characterized socioeconomic status as reported annual income of the family.

The researchers found that after adjustment for age, sex, childhood cardiometabolic risk factors, childhood physical activity, and fruit and vegetable consumption, for each 1-unit increase in family socioeconomic status in childhood, there was a decrease in the risk for adult metabolic syndrome (risk ratio: 0.94). 

After adjustment for participants’ own socioeconomic status in adulthood, the correlation persisted (risk ratio: 0.95). There was a similar correlation between childhood socioeconomic status and the risk of having adult impaired fasting glucose (IFG) or type 2 diabetes (risk ratio: 0.96); after adjustment for childhood risk factors, the correlation was no longer significant.

“Lower socioeconomic status in childhood may be associated with an increased risk for metabolic syndrome, IFG, and type 2 diabetes in adulthood,” the researchers wrote. “Special attention could be paid to children of low socioeconomic status families to decrease the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in adulthood.”

Related Articles


  1. Puolakka E, Pahkala K, Laitinen TT, et al. Childhood socioeconomic status in predicting metabolic syndrome and glucose abnormalities in adulthood: the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study. Diabetes Care. 2016 Oct 18. doi:10.2337/dc16-1565.