Health across the life-span: Early childhood health inequalities and chronic disease in the later life
APR 05, 2017 by ADMIN

Background: Chronic disease is a major public health problem in Indonesia. Today, the prevention program is emphasising on reducing life-style related risk factors, such as smoking behaviour, and unhealthy diet. While it is important to address the current behaviour, early childhood development may also similarly important as health in early life could greatly impact on health in later life.

Objective: To explore the association between general health condition during childhood and current health condition.

Methods: Data of 34,271 adults aged >15 years participated in the 2015 Indonesia Family Life Survey (IFLS-5) were analysed. General health during childhood was measured using Self-rated childhood health. Current health condition was represented by current general health condition, chronic disease, and lung disease. Concentration curve was produced to examine general health condition across early childhood health condition rates. Next, age and sex adjusted regression model was applied to examine the association between early childhood health condition and the outcome variables.

Results: The proportion of those who were very healthy today was concentrated among those who had good health status during childhood. There is a significant difference in the proportion of those who rated their health as very healthy today between participants who experienced fair to poor health during childhood, compared to those who were healthy to very healthy (14% vs 20 – 30%, p<0.001).

Having poor health during childhood increased the risk of having chronic disease and lung disease today, with Odd Ratios of 1.41 and 2.02, respectively (p<0.001).

Conclusion: Health inequalities in childhood could persist across the life-span. Those who experienced poor health status in their early life have an increased risk of having chronic condition later. The finding highlights the importance of improving child health status as early as possible and implementing disease prevention program across the life-span.

Researchers: Yodi ChristianiAgus Setiawan