Research suggests that there is a significant impact of poverty on poor health outcomes. Poverty is associated with limited access to education and healthcare, increased exposure to violence, and chronic stress that contribute to the development of chronic diseases. The poverty and chronic disease relationship is potentially associated with chronically elevated stress biomarkers. The present study investigated the relationship between demographics, poverty (during childhood, young adulthood, and mid/late adulthood), allostatic load—a cumulative measure of system dysregulation—and the Charlson Comorbidity Index, a measure of chronic disease and mortality, using data from the Biopsychosocial and Religion and Health Study (BRHS; Lee et al., 2009) a subset of participants in the Adventist Health Study-2 cohort of Seventh-day Adventists. Of this subset 387 were examined on demographics, poverty, allostatic load (preclinical elevations in 13 biomarkers), chronic diseases and likelihood of mortality. Poverty experienced during childhood—but not during young adulthood or older adulthood—predicted chronic disease severity in late life. Ethnicity moderates the child poverty and AL relationship such that Black individuals have higher risk of elevated stress markers than their White counterparts. Allostatic load has a stronger impact on comorbidity in younger individuals, suggesting a premature aging effect.
School of Behavioral Health
Morton, Kelly R.
Bellinger, Denise L.
Haerich, Paul E.
Lee, Jerry W.
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Year Degree Awarded
Date (Title Page)
Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings
Poverty; Health Status Indicators; Chronic disease; Aging; Child Development
Subject - Local
Health Outcomes; Stress biomarkers; Premature aging effect; Charlson Comorbidity Index; Biopsychosocial and Religion and Health Study
Loma Linda University Libraries
This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.
Do, Natali, "The Effects of Poverty and Allostatic Load on the Development of Chronic Disease" (2017). Loma Linda University Electronic Theses, Dissertations & Projects. 470.
Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives