Early Life Displacement Due to Armed Conflict and Violence, Early Nutrition, and Older Adult Hypertension, Diabetes, and Obesity in the Middle-Income Country of Colombia

Mary McEniry, Rafael Samper Ternent, Carmen Elisa Flórez, Carlos Cano-Gutierrez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: We examine the importance of early life displacement and nutrition on hypertension (HTN) and diabetes in older Colombian adults (60+ years) exposed to rapid demographic, epidemiological, and nutritional transitions, and armed conflict. We compare early life nutritional status and adult health in other middle- and high-income countries. Method: In Colombia (Survey of Health, Wellbeing and Aging [SABE]-Bogotá), we estimate the effects of early life conditions (displacement due to armed conflict and violence, hunger, low height, and not born in the capital city) and obesity on adult health; we compare the effects of low height on adult health in Mexico, South Africa (Study on Global Ageing and Adult Health [SAGE]), the United States, and England (Health and Retirement Study [HRS], English Longitudinal Study of Ageing [ELSA]). Results: Early life displacement, early poor nutrition, and adult obesity increase the risk of HTN and diabetes in Colombia. Being short is most detrimental for HTN in Colombian males. Discussion: Colombian data provide new evidence into how early life conditions and adult obesity contribute to older adult health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
StateAccepted/In press - Jun 1 2018



  • diabetes
  • displacement due to violence
  • early life
  • hypertension
  • middle-income countries
  • obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Gerontology
  • Community and Home Care
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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