Latinos in the US carry a disproportionate burden of obesity and type-2 diabetes. Research has implicated life course socioeconomic position as a major factor in the development of these cardiometabolic conditions;yet most evidence is limited to non-Hispanic White populations. We hypothesize that the large disparities in obesity and type-2 diabetes among Latinos reflects the joint effect of intergenerational transmission of socioeconomic factors, cultural characteristics, behaviors, biology, and other risk factors accumulating over the life course. In addition to being the fastest growing minority population with high rates of obesity and type-2 diabetes, the experience of Latinos is one that includes first generation immigrants with limited education and job skills, and later generations who were born and raised in the US showing varying levels of acculturation and assimilation, behavioral change, and socioeconomic advancement With these unique considerations in mind, the present study seeks to: (1) examine the impact of life course socioeconomic position on obesity and type-2 diabetes among Latinos;(2) assess whether acculturation modifies the impact of life course socioeconomic position on obesity and type-2 diabetes among Latinos;and (3) examine whether parental immune and inflammatory markers mediate the intergenerational transmission of obesity and type-2 diabetes to adult offspring among Latinos. The proposed research activity will constitute the first systematic attempt to assess the independent and synergistic contributions of life course socioeconomic position and acculturation on obesity and type-2 diabetes among Latinos. By assessing life course exposures, this project provides an unprecedented opportunity to identify targets for early intervention for reducing the heavy burden of obesity and type-2 diabetes among Latinos in the US. More broadly, the proposed research may uncover crucial life course socioeconomic and cultural patterning of risk factors or health promoting characteristics that may also benefit other race/ethnic minorities disproportionately living in poverty and suffering from obesity, type-2 diabetes, and related cardiovascular complications.
The proposed study will assess the impact of life course socioeconomic position and acculturation on obesity and type-2 diabetes and examine whether parental immune and inflammatory markers mediate intergenerational transmission among Latinos, The findings will have important public health implications, including the identification of cultural patterning of risk factors and biological processes mediating the effects of life course sociocultural contexts on obesity and type-2 diabetes in US Latinos.
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