Socioeconomic status is positively associated with measures of adiposity and insulin resistance, but inversely associated with dyslipidaemia in Colombian children

Adriana Buitrago-Lopez, Edith H. Van den Hooven, Christian F. Rueda-Clausen, Norma Serrano, Alvaro J. Ruiz, Mark A. Pereira, Noel T. Mueller

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18 Scopus citations


Background Low socioeconomic status (SES) has been associated with higher risk of cardiometabolic diseases in developed societies, but investigation of SES and cardiometabolic risk in children in less economically developed populations is sparse. We aimed to examine associations among SES and cardiometabolic risk factors in Colombian children. Methods We used data from a population-based study of 1282 children aged 6-10 years from Bucaramanga, Colombia. SES was classified according to household wealth, living conditions and access to public utilities. Anthropometric and biochemical parameters were measured at a clinic visit. Cardiometabolic risk factors were analysed continuously using linear regression and as binary outcomes-according to established paediatric cut points-using logistic regression to calculate OR and 95% CIs. Results Mean age of the children was 8.4 (SD 1.4) and 51.1% of the sample were boys. Odds of overweight/obesity, abdominal obesity and insulin resistance were greater among higher SES. Compared with the lowest SES stratum, children in the highest SES had higher odds of overweight/obesity (OR=3.25, 95% CI 1.89 to 5.57), abdominal obesity (OR=2.74, 95% CI 1.41 to 5.31) and insulin resistance (OR=2.60, 95% CI 1.81 to 3.71). In contrast, children in the highest SES had lower odds of hypertriglyceridaemia (triglycerides ≥90th centile; OR=0.28, 95% CI 0.14 to 0.54) and low (≤10th centile) high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (OR=0.35, 95% CI 0.15 to 0.78). Conclusions In Colombian children, SES is directly associated with obesity and insulin resistance, but inversely associated with dyslipidaemia (hypertriglyceridaemia and low HDL cholesterol). Our findings highlight the need to analyse cardiometabolic risk factors separately in children and to carefully consider a population's level of economic development when studying their social determinants of cardiometabolic disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)580-587
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of epidemiology and community health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Feb 17 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Department of Science, Technology, and Innovation (COLCIENCIAS 65660418215) in Colombia. NTM is funded by the National Institutes of Health (T32 DK091227). AB-L and EHvdH work in ErasmusAGE, a centre for aging research across the life course funded by Nestlé Nutrition (Nestec Ltd), Metagenics Inc, and AXA. None of the funding agencies had any role in the conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, or interpretation of the data; or preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript.


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