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Early life conditions and long-term sickness absence during adulthood - A longitudinal study of 9000 siblings in Sweden.

Helgertz, Jonas LU and Persson, Mats LU (2014) In Social Science and Medicine 119(Online 6 February 2014). p.224-231
Abstract
This study examines the influence of health conditions experienced during the individual's first year of life on the incidence of sickness absence during adulthood. Using a sample of approximately 9000 biological siblings from 17 countries of origin and living in Sweden during the time period 1981-1991, sibling fixed effect models are estimated. This approach is combined with the use of an exogenous measurement of early life conditions, operationalized as the infant mortality rate. The link between early life conditions and later life outcomes is examined both with and without intermediary characteristics observed during the individual's childhood and adulthood, aiming for a better understanding regarding to what extent the effect of... (More)
This study examines the influence of health conditions experienced during the individual's first year of life on the incidence of sickness absence during adulthood. Using a sample of approximately 9000 biological siblings from 17 countries of origin and living in Sweden during the time period 1981-1991, sibling fixed effect models are estimated. This approach is combined with the use of an exogenous measurement of early life conditions, operationalized as the infant mortality rate. The link between early life conditions and later life outcomes is examined both with and without intermediary characteristics observed during the individual's childhood and adulthood, aiming for a better understanding regarding to what extent the effect of exposure to an early life insult can be mediated. The results suggest that exposure to worse health conditions during the first year of life is associated with an elevated risk of experiencing sickness absence during adulthood. An increase in infant mortality rate by ten per thousand is associated with a four percentage point higher probability of experiencing sickness absence. Despite the importance of adulthood socioeconomic status on sickness absence propensity, these factors do not mediate the influence from the health conditions experienced during the first year of life, suggesting that the association from early life conditions on sickness absence in adulthood operates as a direct mechanism. The link between early life conditions and sickness absence is only present for children to parents with primary schooling and not for individuals with more educated parents. These findings suggest that families with more abundant resources have the ability to protect their child from exposure to adverse health conditions during early life, or to cancel out the influence from an early life insult. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Sickness absence, Early life conditions, Direct and indirect effects, Critical period models, Sweden, 1981–1991, Sibling fixed effect regression
in
Social Science and Medicine
volume
119
issue
Online 6 February 2014
pages
224 - 231
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • pmid:24613093
  • wos:000345480000027
  • scopus:84908371353
ISSN
1873-5347
DOI
10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.02.004
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
fe128827-5db1-423a-9c15-d583cc5c060a (old id 4383569)
date added to LUP
2014-04-25 12:51:58
date last changed
2017-01-01 04:11:29
@article{fe128827-5db1-423a-9c15-d583cc5c060a,
  abstract     = {This study examines the influence of health conditions experienced during the individual's first year of life on the incidence of sickness absence during adulthood. Using a sample of approximately 9000 biological siblings from 17 countries of origin and living in Sweden during the time period 1981-1991, sibling fixed effect models are estimated. This approach is combined with the use of an exogenous measurement of early life conditions, operationalized as the infant mortality rate. The link between early life conditions and later life outcomes is examined both with and without intermediary characteristics observed during the individual's childhood and adulthood, aiming for a better understanding regarding to what extent the effect of exposure to an early life insult can be mediated. The results suggest that exposure to worse health conditions during the first year of life is associated with an elevated risk of experiencing sickness absence during adulthood. An increase in infant mortality rate by ten per thousand is associated with a four percentage point higher probability of experiencing sickness absence. Despite the importance of adulthood socioeconomic status on sickness absence propensity, these factors do not mediate the influence from the health conditions experienced during the first year of life, suggesting that the association from early life conditions on sickness absence in adulthood operates as a direct mechanism. The link between early life conditions and sickness absence is only present for children to parents with primary schooling and not for individuals with more educated parents. These findings suggest that families with more abundant resources have the ability to protect their child from exposure to adverse health conditions during early life, or to cancel out the influence from an early life insult.},
  author       = {Helgertz, Jonas and Persson, Mats},
  issn         = {1873-5347},
  keyword      = {Sickness absence,Early life conditions,Direct and indirect effects,Critical period models,Sweden,1981–1991,Sibling fixed effect regression},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {Online 6 February 2014},
  pages        = {224--231},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Social Science and Medicine},
  title        = {Early life conditions and long-term sickness absence during adulthood - A longitudinal study of 9000 siblings in Sweden.},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.02.004},
  volume       = {119},
  year         = {2014},
}