Research conducted at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has found a link between poverty among Black children and both accelerated cell aging and elevated insulin resistance later in life.
As part of this research released in Child Development, a sample of 342 African American children residing in the southeastern United States were followed for about two decades between 2001 and 2019.
“We examined the prospective association between family poverty during adolescence (ages 11–18) and insulin resistance (IR) in young adulthood (ages 25–29) as well as underlying biological and psychosocial mechanisms,” the study’s authors explained in their findings.
Familial poverty during adolescence indicated that higher levels of insulin resistance was likely by young adulthood. The study also showed that poverty may help accelerate immune cell aging in early adulthood.
“Serial mediational models confirmed the hypothesized pathway linking family poverty, perceived life chances, cellular aging, and IR,” the authors emphasized.
“Findings provide empirical support for theorized developmental precursors of chronic disease.”