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Socioeconomic indicators in epidemiologic research: A practical example from the LIFEPATH study

d'Errico, A; Ricceri, F; Stringhini, S; Carmeli, C; Kivimaki, M; Bartley, M; McCrory, C; ... Vineis, P; + view all (2017) Socioeconomic indicators in epidemiologic research: A practical example from the LIFEPATH study. PLoS ONE , 12 (5) , Article e0178071. 10.1371/journal.pone.0178071. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Several social indicators have been used in epidemiological research to describe socioeconomic position (SEP) of people in societies. Among SEP indicators, those more frequently used are education, occupational class and income. Differences in the incidence of several health outcomes have been reported consistently, independently from the indicator employed. Main objectives of the study were to present the socioeconomic classifications of the social indicators which will be employed throughout the LIFEPATH project and to compare social gradients in all-cause mortality observed in the participating adult cohorts using the different SEP indicators. METHODS: Information on the available social indicators (education, own and father’s occupational class, income) from eleven adult cohorts participating in LIFEPATH was collected and harmonized. Mortality by SEP for each indicator was estimated by Poisson regression on each cohort and then evaluated using a meta-analytical approach. RESULTS: In the meta-analysis, among men mortality was significantly inversely associated with both occupational class and education, but not with father’s occupational class; among women, the increase in mortality in lower social strata was smaller than among men and, except for a slight increase in the lowest education category, no significant differences were found. CONCLUSIONS: Among men, the proposed three-level classifications of occupational class and education were found to predict differences in mortality which is consistent with previous research. Results on women suggest that classifying them through their sole SEP, without considering that of their partners, may imply a misclassification of their social position leading to attenuation of mortality differences.

Type: Article
Title: Socioeconomic indicators in epidemiologic research: A practical example from the LIFEPATH study
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0178071
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0178071
Language: English
Additional information: © 2017 d’Errico et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Keywords: Science & Technology, Multidisciplinary Sciences, Science & Technology - Other Topics, CAUSE-SPECIFIC MORTALITY, ALL-CAUSE MORTALITY, OCCUPATIONAL SOCIAL-CLASS, POPULATION-BASED COHORT, BRITISH BIRTH COHORT, HEALTH BEHAVIORS, RISK-FACTORS, FOLLOW-UP, EUROPEAN COUNTRIES, ALLOSTATIC LOAD
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: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1558455
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