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Nurturing mothers rear physically healthier adults
Date:1/23/2012

alth, psychological well-being and cognitive function. Her team is looking for ways to reduce the differences, as not all lower-socioeconomic status people fare the same some, Lachman says, are physically and cognitively active and have good social support, resources which seems to reduce their risks for poorer functioning.

The study is innovative in several ways. Other studies look at SES in adulthood and link it with self-reports of health. This study looked at SES during childhood and whether it predicted poor health many years later. The study also examined risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes within the context of a large survey.

More than 1,000 members of the nationally representative sample were brought to a medical clinic for an overnight stay and samples were taken to assess pre-clinical indicators of disease. To qualify for a metabolic syndrome diagnosis, which is a precursor to coronary artery disease, Type 2 diabetes and stroke, adults had to have central adiposity (large waist circumference) and at least two of the following: high blood pressure, raised triglycerides, raised fasting glucose levels, or low levels of high-density lipoprotein (a specific cholesterol reading).

Emerging literature reveals that many of the health problems in midlife, including metabolic syndrome, can be traced back to what happened in early childhood. The stresses of childhood can leave a biological residue that shows up in midlife, explains Lachman. Yet, among those at risk for poor health, adults who had nurturing mothers in childhood fared better in physical health in midlife.

"Perhaps it's a combination of empathy, the teaching of coping strategies or support for enrichment," says Lachman. "We want to understand what it is about having a nurturing mother that allows you to escape the vulnerabilities of being in a low socioeconomic status background and wind up healthier than your counterparts."

The study has fo
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Contact: Susan Chaityn Leovits
lebovits@brandies.edu
781-736-4027
Brandeis University
Source:Eurekalert

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