Alexi Gugushvili: "Downward income mobility among individuals with poor initial health is linked with higher cardiometabolic risk"
The effects of socioeconomic position (SEP) across life course accumulate and produce visible health inequalities between different socioeconomic groups. Yet, it is not well-understood how the experience of intergenerational income mobility between origin and destination SEP, per se, affects health outcomes. This is what Alexi Gugushvili and co-writer explores in this article in PNAS Nexus.
Gugushvili and Bulczak use data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health collected in the United States with the outcome measure of cardiometabolic risk (CMR) constructed from data on LDL Cholesterol, Glucose MG/DL, C-reactive protein, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and resting heart rate. Intergenerational income mobility is estimated as the difference between Waves 1 and 5 income quintiles. Diagonal reference models are used to test if intergenerational income mobility, net of origin and destination income quintile effects, is associated with CMR.
They find that individuals in the lowest and the highest income quintiles have, respectively, the highest and the lowest CMR; both origin and destination income quintiles are equally important; there are no significant overall income mobility effects for different gender and race/ethnicity groups, but downward income mobility has negative health implications for individuals with poor initial health.
They conclude that downward income mobility can increase inequalities in CMR in the United States by worsening the health of those who had poor health before their mobility experiences.
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