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Public Health Reports: Sex-Specific Associations Between Area-Level Poverty and Cardiometabolic Dysfunction Among U.S. Adolescents

In a recent article in Public Health Reports, Drs. Andrew D. Williams and Edmond D. Shenassa of University of Maryland College Park examined sex differences in the link between living in poverty and cardiometabolic function during adolescence. Data was linked from 10,415 adolescents aged 12 to 19 in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1999-2012) with U.S. Census–tract data on area-level poverty. Cardiometabolic dysfunction was parameterized by summing the z scores of 6 cardiometabolic biomarkers, grouped into quintiles. Hierarchical ordinal models were used to estimate associations. Results indicated that when compared to residents in low-poverty areas, residents in high-poverty areas had elevated odds of cardiometabolic dysfunction. This association was more noticeable among boys than girls. The authors concluded that there may be sex-specific associations. Moreover, the study results highlight the potential for community-based programs, such as housing assistance, to improve population health.

Full article.

Published since 1878, Public Health Reports (PHR) is the official journal of the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General and the U.S. Public Health Service. It is published bimonthly, plus supplement issues, through an official agreement with the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health. The journal is peer-reviewed and publishes original research, reviews, and commentaries related to public health practice and methodology, public health law, and teaching at schools and programs of public health. Journal Issues include regular commentaries by the U.S. Surgeon General and the executives of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health.

The journal focuses on such topics as disease surveillance, infectious and chronic diseases, occupational disease and injury, immunization, health disparities, substance use disorders, tobacco use, and many other key and emerging public health concerns. In addition to its 6 regular issues, PHR produces supplemental issues approximately 2-5 times per year, focusing on specific topics of interest to its readership. The journal’s contributors are on the front lines of public health and present their work in a readable and accessible format.

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