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Socioeconomic gradients in cardiorespiratory disease and diabetes in the 1960s: Baseline findings from the GPO study

Ferrie, JE; Shipley, MJ; Breeze, E; Smith, GD; (2006) Socioeconomic gradients in cardiorespiratory disease and diabetes in the 1960s: Baseline findings from the GPO study. PUBLIC HEALTH , 120 (8) 685 - 695. 10.1016/j.ouhe.2006.02.010.

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Abstract

Objectives: To describe the socioeconomic distribution of risk factors for cardiorespiratory disease and diabetes in employed women and men in the Late 1960s.Study design and methods: Cross-sectional data were collected from 3345 General Post Office (GPO) employees in London, via a questionnaire and clinical examination, between October 1966 and April 1967.Results: Our occupational grade classification conformed to expected patterns of greater car ownership and gardening among higher-grade women and men, and greater height in higher-grade men (highest-lowest grade 175.0-170.7cm, P < 0.001). A strong inverse grade gradient in bronchitis (2.1-9.4%, P < 0.001) and a strong positive gradient in FEV, (3.10-2.58L, P < 0.001) were observed in men, although smoking was less consistently associated with grade. There was no consistent inverse association between grade and any cardiovascular risk factor in either sex, but strong inverse gradients in prevalence of impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) (5.1-18.2%, P < 0.001) and 2-h glucose (4.14-4.25mmol/l, P < 0.001) in nondiabetic men. Using car ownership as an alternative measure of socioeconomic position, findings in men were replicated for respiratory measures, IGT and 2-h glucose prevalence. Inverse gradients were additionally observed for blood pressure, cholesterol and electrocardiogram abnormalities.Conclusions: The GPO study confirms existing evidence of socioeconomic gradients in respiratory risk factors and provides new evidence of gradients in risk factors for diabetes in men. Although there was no conclusive evidence of an occupational gradient in any cardiovascular risk factor, car ownership was a good indicator of tower risk in men. No socioeconomic gradients in cardiorespiratory or diabetic risk factors were observed in women. (c) 2006 The Royal Institute of Public Health. Published by Elsevier Ltd. Alt rights reserved.

Type: Article
Title: Socioeconomic gradients in cardiorespiratory disease and diabetes in the 1960s: Baseline findings from the GPO study
DOI: 10.1016/j.ouhe.2006.02.010
Keywords: cardiorespiratory disease, diabetes, risk factors, socioeconomic distribution, 1960s, CORONARY-HEART-DISEASE, SOCIAL-CLASS, BLOOD-PRESSURE, RISK-FACTORS, POPULATION, MEN, PREVALENCE, MORTALITY, MELLITUS, WHITEHALL
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/103858
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