Infant Socioeconomic Position and Quality of Life in Midlife: A 50-Year Follow-Up Study of 2079 Individuals in Denmark

  • Emilie Rune HegelundEmail author
  • Anna Paldam Folker
  • Cathrine Lawaetz Wimmelmann
  • Emilie Just-Østergaard
  • Erik Lykke Mortensen
  • Trine Flensborg-Madsen


During the last decades, an important line of public health research has focused on the influence of socioeconomic position (SEP) on the quality of life (QoL) of individuals. While most studies have investigated the association between contemporary SEP and QoL, the present study investigated the association between SEP within the first year of life and QoL in midlife. The study population comprised all live-born singletons from the Copenhagen Perinatal Cohort (CPC; 1959–1961), who participated in a 50-year follow-up examination in 2009–2011 (N = 2079). Infant SEP was measured by a composite SEP indicator in the CPC 1-year examination. QoL was measured in the 50-year examination by the participants’ scores on three different and complementary measures of QoL: The Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS) and the Vitality Scale of the MOS 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) as well as by their answers to the question: “How is your quality of life at the moment?”. Linear regression and ordinal logistic regression were used to estimate the association between infant SEP and QoL in midlife. The results showed that infant SEP was positively associated with all three measures of QoL in midlife, albeit only the associations with the SWLS and the Vitality Scale were statistically significant. In conclusion, infant SEP appears to exert a lasting influence on QoL in midlife.


Socioeconomic factors Quality of life Measurement of quality of life Cohort studies Denmark 



We thank A. L. Villumsen and B. Zachau-Christiansen for their role in the establishment of the Copenhagen Perinatal Cohort and we thank the steering committee for permission to conduct this study. The Copenhagen Aging and Midlife Biobank was funded by generous grants from the VELUX FOUNDATION (VELUX 26145 and 31539). This manuscript was prepared in collaboration with members of the CAMB steering committee. The list of the CAMB steering committee and those responsible for the collection of historical data can be found at


This study was funded by a grant from IMK Almene Fond to Trine Flensborg-Madsen.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© The International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS) and Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emilie Rune Hegelund
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anna Paldam Folker
    • 2
  • Cathrine Lawaetz Wimmelmann
    • 1
    • 3
  • Emilie Just-Østergaard
    • 1
    • 3
  • Erik Lykke Mortensen
    • 1
    • 3
  • Trine Flensborg-Madsen
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Public HealthUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagen KDenmark
  2. 2.National Institute of Public HealthUniversity of Southern DenmarkCopenhagen KDenmark
  3. 3.Center for Healthy Aging, Faculty of Health and Medical SciencesCopenhagen NDenmark

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