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Associations of intergenerational education with metabolic health in U.S. Latinos.

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The purpose of this study was to examine the association of intergenerational education and country of birth with waist circumference, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes among older adult Latinos in the United States.


We used cross-sectional data from the Sacramento Area Latino Study on Aging, a cohort of older adult Mexican-American Latinos (mean age = 70 years). At baseline, we measured waist circumference and assessed metabolic syndrome and diabetes according to established guidelines (N = 1,789). Participants were classified as US-born or foreign-born based on self-reported birth country. Participants reported their parents' education level (≥6 vs. <6 years) and their own educational attainment (≥12 vs. <12 years).


US-born participants who achieved high adult education, regardless of their parents' education, had 37% lower odds of type 2 diabetes compared to US-born participants with both low parental and personal education levels [e.g., multivariable-adjusted OR (parental low/adult high) = 0.63; 95% CI = 0.40, 0.99]. Among the foreign-born, only those with both high parental and high personal education levels had 55% lower odds of large waist circumference (OR = 0.45; 95% CI = 0.23, 0.88) compared to foreign-born participants with both low parental and personal education levels.


Intergenerational exposure to low education levels may increase central obesity and type 2 diabetes differentially among US-born and foreign-born Latinos.

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