Life course SES and cardiovascular risk: Heterogeneity across race/ethnicity and gender


Walsemann, Katrina M.; Goosby, Bridget J.; & Farr, Deeonna (2016). Life course SES and cardiovascular risk: Heterogeneity across race/ethnicity and gender. Social Science and Medicine. vol. 152 pp. 147-155


We examine four life course models as they relate to adolescent SES, adult SES, and cardiovascular risk – the sensitive period, pathways, accumulation, and social mobility models. Accounting for race/ethnic and gender differences in life course processes, we analyzed Waves I and IV of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, a nationally representative sample of individuals enrolled in grades 7-12 when they were first interviewed in 1994/5. We restricted our sample to whites, blacks, and Latinos who were interviewed in Waves I and IV and provided biomarker data (n=11,397). The cardiovascular risk score at Wave IV combined waist circumference, blood pressure, hemoglobin A1c, and C-reactive protein. We found evidence for each of the four life course models for white women, whereas the sensitive period was indicated for white men. Upward mobility was also associated with higher CVD risk among white men as compared to those who were socio-economically advantaged at both time points. The pathway model was significant for Latino women. No life course models were significant for black men or women or Latino men. Our findings demonstrate the importance of applying an intersectional lens to understanding CVD risk over the life course.



CVD race/ethnicity gender life course SES

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Social Science and Medicine


Walsemann, Katrina M.
Goosby, Bridget J.
Farr, Deeonna

Year Published


Volume Number





January 26, 2016



Reference ID