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Reducing socio-economic inequalities in all-cause mortality: a counterfactual mediation approach

Laine, JE; Baltar, VT; Stringini, S; Gandini, M; Chadeau-Hyam, M; Kivimaki, M; Severi, G; ... Vineis, P; + view all (2019) Reducing socio-economic inequalities in all-cause mortality: a counterfactual mediation approach. International Journal of Epidemiology 10.1093/ije/dyz248. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Socio-economic inequalities in mortality are well established, yet the contribution of intermediate risk factors that may underlie these relationships remains unclear. We evaluated the role of multiple modifiable intermediate risk factors underlying socio-economic-associated mortality and quantified the potential impact of reducing early all-cause mortality by hypothetically altering socio-economic risk factors. METHODS: Data were from seven cohort studies participating in the LIFEPATH Consortium (total n = 179 090). Using both socio-economic position (SEP) (based on occupation) and education, we estimated the natural direct effect on all-cause mortality and the natural indirect effect via the joint mediating role of smoking, alcohol intake, dietary patterns, physical activity, body mass index, hypertension, diabetes and coronary artery disease. Hazard ratios (HRs) were estimated, using counterfactual natural effect models under different hypothetical actions of either lower or higher SEP or education. RESULTS: Lower SEP and education were associated with an increase in all-cause mortality within an average follow-up time of 17.5 years. Mortality was reduced via modelled hypothetical actions of increasing SEP or education. Through higher education, the HR was 0.85 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.84, 0.86] for women and 0.71 (95% CI 0.70, 0.74) for men, compared with lower education. In addition, 34% and 38% of the effect was jointly mediated for women and men, respectively. The benefits from altering SEP were slightly more modest. CONCLUSIONS: These observational findings support policies to reduce mortality both through improving socio-economic circumstances and increasing education, and by altering intermediaries, such as lifestyle behaviours and morbidities.

Type: Article
Title: Reducing socio-economic inequalities in all-cause mortality: a counterfactual mediation approach
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/ije/dyz248
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyz248
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Epidemiological Association. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact journals.permissions@oup.com.
Keywords: Socio-economic inequalities, all-cause mortality, causal inference, health behaviours, intervention, mediation, multiple mediators
UCL classification: UCL
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 Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10088641
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