University of Oulu

Oura, P., Ala-Mursula, L., Chamberlain, A., Junno, J.-A., & Rissanen, I. (2022). Family’s socioeconomic profile at birth and offspring mortality until midlife – The Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 study. Preventive Medicine, 155, 106934.

Family’s socioeconomic profile at birth and offspring mortality until midlife : the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 study

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Author: Oura, Petteri1,2,3; Leena, Ala-Mursula1; Chamberlain, Andrew4;
Organizations: 1Center for Life Course Health Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Medical Research Center Oulu, University of Oulu and Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
3Department of Forensic Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
4Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
5Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Humanities, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
6Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht and Utrecht University, the Netherlands
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-12-24


Family’s socioeconomic profile collected prenatally is known to predict offspring mortality during early life, but it remains unclear whether it has the potential to predict offspring mortality until later life. In this study, 12,063 individuals belonging to the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 were followed up from mid-pregnancy for 52 years (570,000 person years). Five distinct socioeconomic profiles were identified by latent class analysis based on mother’s marital status, education, and occupation; father’s occupation; number of family members; location of residence, room count, and utilities; and family’s wealth. The classes were highest status families (15.4% of the population), small families (22.1%), larger families (15.4%), average wealth families (23.4%), and rural families (23.3%). Their associations to offspring mortality, via linkage to national offspring death records, were analysed by Cox regression, stratified by sex and age groups (0—19, 20—38 and 40–52 years). In total, mortality was 9.2% among male and 5.0% among female offspring. Risk for midlife mortality was higher among male offspring from larger families (hazard ratio 2.19, 95% confidence interval 1.32—3.63), average wealth families (1.66, 1.02—2.73) and rural families (1.63, 1.00—2.68), relative to offspring from highest status families. It seems that family’s socioeconomic profile constructed prenatally has predictive value for midlife mortality among male offspring. Premature mortality of men and women seem to be two distinct phenomena with differing underlying factors as socioeconomic profile was not associated with mortality among female offspring.

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Series: Preventive medicine
ISSN: 0091-7435
ISSN-E: 1096-0260
ISSN-L: 0091-7435
Volume: 155
Article number: 106934
DOI: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2021.106934
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
Funding: We thank all NFBC1966 members and researchers who participated in the study. We also wish to acknowledge the work of the NFBC Project Center. NFBC1966 received financial support from University of Oulu, Finland Grant no. 65354, 24000692, Oulu University Hospital, Finland Grant no. 2/97, 8/97, 24301140, Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, Finland Grant no. 23/251/97,160/97,190/97, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland Grant no. 54121, Regional Institute of Occupational Health, Oulu, Finland Grant no. 50621, 54231. European Regional Development Fund ERDF Grant no. 539/2010 A31592.
Copyright information: © 2022. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license