Recent improvements in cardiovascular (CV) health have not been equally shared by US adolescents of varying socioeconomic status, a recent study found. Researchers analyzed NHANES data from 1999 to 2014, including 11,557 (4,854 fasting) participants aged 12 to 19 years. To examine trends in CV risk factors, adolescents were stratified into 3 groups on the basis of family poverty-income ratio: low income (poverty-income ratio, <1.3), middle income (≥1.3 and <3.5), and high income (≥3.5). They found:
- From 1999 to 2014, the prevalence of obesity increased (16.3%–20.9%) but only among low- and middle-income adolescents, with significant disparities in prevalence by income (21.6% vs 14.6% among low- vs high-income adolescents, respectively, in 2011–2014).
- In addition, there were significant and persistent disparities in the prevalence of smoking (20.7% vs 7.3% among low- vs high-income adolescents, respectively, in 2011–2014), low-quality diet (68.9% vs 55.4%), and physical inactivity (25.6% vs 17.0%).
- No significant disparities were observed in the prevalence of prediabetes and diabetes, hypertension, or hypercholesterolemia, although the prevalence of prediabetes and diabetes nearly doubled (11.9%–23.1%) among all adolescents from 1999 to 2014.
Jackson SL, Yang EC, Zhang Z. Income disparities and cardiovascular risk factors among adolescents. [Published online ahead of print October 17, 2018]. Pediatrics. doi:10.1542/peds.2018-1089.
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