The World-Wide Physiological Revolution: Dysregulation in Cardiovascular and Metabolic Functioning

Eileen Crimmins, University of Southern California
Sarinnapha Vasunilashorn, University of Southern California
Jung Ki Kim, University of Southern California

In examining physical change with industrialization, Fogel described the technophysio evolution of health capital that accompanied the industrial revolution. An increase in human capital was evidenced by an increase in height linked to improvements in nutrition. This paper examines the physiological revolution that has accompanied reductions in infection, increases in calorie consumption, and decreases in manual labor, characteristic of most populations. While virtually all populations have experienced increases in weight, hypertension, and dyslipidemia, dysregulations in physiological functioning indicators are related to socioeconomic, medical and cultural circumstances as well as differences in early life circumstances. We use recent biomarker data (NHANES, HRS, ELSA, CHARLS, SEBAS, IFLS, and MxFLS) to examine these differences. Weight is highest in the U.S., Mexico, and England and considerably lower in Asian countries; however, several Asian countries have some of the highest levels of hypertension while it is relatively low in the U.S. because of medication use.

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Presented in Session 118: Biodemographic Influences on Health and Mortality