Objective: This study aimed to assess the association between exposure to the Great Chinese Famine (1959-1961) during early life and hypertension in adulthood. Methods: From July to September 2009, 1224 eligible adults were recruited in a cross-sectional survey using a multi-stage stratified random sampling method in Chongqing China. A questionnaire was used to collect information of hypertension and sociodemographic factors. Participants were categorized as childhood, fetal, and none exposure to famine based on the date of birth. Results: Of the sample, 12.3% reported having hypertension. The prevalence of hypertension varied by famine status: 11.9% in childhood exposure, 16.1% in fetal exposure, and 10.2% in non-exposure group. After adjusting for sociodemographic and lifestyle factors, compared with non-exposure group, fetal exposure group had an increased likelihood of having hypertension with odds ratio of 1.79 (95%CI 1.13-2.84). Although there was no significant gender and famine interaction, the positive association between famine exposure and hypertension was stronger among women than men. Conclusion: Fetal exposure to the Chinese famine may be associated with an increased risk of arthritis in adulthood in women.
- Chinese famine
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health