Table 1

General characteristics of study population by Chinese famine exposure

UnexposedFetal-exposedChildhood-exposed
Early childhoodMid childhoodLate childhood
N1624882119813621281
Birth date*1962–19641959–19611956–19581954–19561952–1954
Age in 201552.0 (1)55.1 (1)†58.0 (1)†60.1 (1)†62.0 (2)†
Male, n (%)791 (48.7)409 (46.4)597 (49.8)666 (48.9)616 (48.1)
Severely famine-affected areas, n (%)284 (32.2)442 (36.9)544 (39.9)515 (40.2)
Education, n (%)
 Illiterate163 (10.1)135 (15.3)285 (23.8)355 (26.1)387 (30.2)
 Primary or middle school1161 (71.6)529 (60.0)699 (58.4)828 (60.8)780 (60.9)
 High school and above298 (18.4)218 (24.7)213 (17.8)178 (13.1)114 (8.9)
Smoking, n (%)464 (28.6)257 (29.1)365 (30.5)427 (31.4)382 (29.8)
Drinking, n (%)638 (39.3)340 (38.6)465 (38.9)488 (35.9)435 (34.0)†
Marital status1425 (87.8)770 (87.3)1035 (86.4)1166 (85.6)1091 (85.2)
Hukou status, n (%)
 Urban344 (22.3)195 (23.4)258 (22.5)274 (21.3)257 (21.3)
 Rural1200 (77.7)639 (76.6)877 (77.5)1013 (78.7)948 (78.7)
Self-reported poor health status, n (%)1155 (71.3)640 (72.3)893 (74.5)1019 (74.9)1001 (78.2)†
Poor health status in childhood (self-reported), n (%)450 (28.0)228 (26.2)344 (29.1)419 (31.1)394 (31.3)
Depression, n (%)498 (30.8)252 (28.6)387 (32.4)433 (32.0)457 (35.8)†
Hypertension, n (%)387 (26.1)241 (30.4)334 (30.4)397 (31.5)†440 (36.9)†
Diabetes, n (%)221 (14.3)157 (18.5)†204 (17.6)244 (18.5)†246 (19.9)†
Dyslipidemia, n (%)262 (18.1)169 (22.8)217 (20.2)245 (19.7)241 (20.9)
Stroke, n (%)34 (2.3)20 (2.5)24 (2.1)34 (2.7)41 (3.5)
Kidney disease, n (%)136 (9.2)84 (10.6)129 (11.9)144 (11.5)126 (10.7)
Asthma, n (%)55 (3.7)34 (4.3)55 (5.0)65 (5.2)67 (5.6)
Chronic lung diseases, n (%)160 (10.9)98 (12.3)154 (14.1)164 (13.0)180 (15.3)†
Liver disease, n (%)100 (6.8)62 (7.9)81 (7.5)93 (7.4)79 (6.7)
Stomach disease, n (%)494 (33.2)264 (33.4)368 (33.6)429 (34.1)390 (32.8)
Heart diseases, n (%)188 (12.8)119 (15.0)191 (17.6)†217 (17.2)†231 (19.5)†
  • *From 1 October year to 30 September year. Continuous variables are expressed as median (IQR), and categorical variables are shown as n (%). The Kruskal-Wallis test was used for continuous variables with a skewed distribution, and the Pearson’s χ² test for categorical variables when comparing differences.

  • †p<0.05 (after Dunnett corrections).