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Title: Socioeconomic position and coronary heart disease in older age : associations and possible pathways
Author: Ramsay, S. E.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2732 9658
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2009
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Low socioeconomic position is known to be associated with greater coronary heart disease (CHD) risk in most developed countries. However, studies have largely focused on the association between socioeconomic position and CHD in middle-aged populations and little is known about the extent to which socioeconomic position affects CHD risk in later life. This thesis uses the British Regional Heart Study, a populationbased cohort of British men to investigate the extent of socioeconomic inequalities in CHD in older age and the possible pathways to these inequalities. Issues addressed in detail include trends in socioeconomic inequalities in CHD with increasing age and over time, the extent of socioeconomic inequalities in CHD in older age (60-79 years), the contribution of established and novel coronary risk factors to these inequalities, and the influence of early life socioeconomic position on CHD risk in later life. Although CHD mortality declined over the last two decades in Britain, relative social class differences in CHD did not narrow between 1980 and 2005. With increasing age (from 40-59 years to 65-84 years), relative social class inequalities in CHD narrowed, although absolute differences widened with age. Marked socioeconomic differences in CHD were present in older age; CHD risk increased from the highest to the lowest social class group. Socioeconomic differences in behavioural coronary risk factors (particularly cigarette smoking) could explain at least a third of these inequalities; inflammatory markers made some additional contribution. Lower socioeconomic position in childhood was associated with increased CHD risk in older age; part of this association was due to the relationship of childhood socioeconomic position with adult behavioural factors. Appreciable socioeconomic inequalities were also present in disability among older men with CHD. The results suggest that important socioeconomic inequalities in CHD persist in older age; the implications for public health and further epidemiological research are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available