Education and young adult cardiovascular health


Lawrence, Elizabeth M. & Hummer, Robert A. (2016). Education and young adult cardiovascular health. 2016 Add Health Users Conference. Bethesda, MD.


Educational attainment shows strong associations with a variety of health outcomes including cardiovascular health (CVH). These associations likely result from the bundle of characteristics and experiences that is summarized by educational attainment. Research aiming to measure the health effects of educational attainment often treats these characteristics and experiences as confounders. We argue that not all childhood characteristics and experiences that shape both educational attainment and CVH are confounders; some are “intermediaries” that result from prior educational experiences and shape future education. We use data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health to address three aims: identify intermediaries in adolescence, measure the association between intermediaries and CVH in young adulthood, and determine the extent to which intermediaries’ effects on CVH work through educational attainment. We use Latent Class Analysis (LCA) to identify intermediary educational profiles and regression models to examine associations between these profiles and educational attainment and CVH. Results show six intermediary educational profiles, each demonstrating a unique combination of educational dis/advantage. The intermediary profiles are highly predictive of educational attainment and also demonstrate associations with young adult CVH. Preliminary results also suggest that educational attainment mediates the associations between intermediaries and CVH.


Reference Type

Conference proceeding

Book Title

2016 Add Health Users Conference


Lawrence, Elizabeth M.
Hummer, Robert A.

Year Published


City of Publication

Bethesda, MD

Reference ID