Publications

The Association Between Socioeconomic Status and Cardiovascular Risk Factors Among Middle-Aged and Older Men and Women

Studies of gender differences in the association between socioeconomic status (SES) and cardiovascular risk factors have produced mixed findings. The purpose of this research was to examine whether the association between SES and cardiovascular risk factors differed between older men and women. Using data on physical measures and biomarkers from the 2006 Health and Retirement Study (N = 2,502 men; N = 3,474 women), linear regression models were used to estimate the association between SES and seven cardiovascular risk factors. Interactions between gender and SES were tested. For all seven risks assessed, we observed significant associations of selected SES factors to cardiovascular risk for men and/or women. In all of these cases, lower SES was associated with higher cardiovascular risk. However, for six of the factors, we also observed gender differences in the association between SES and cardiovascular risk, such that lower SES was associated with higher cardiovascular risk for women but not for men. These findings suggest that the association between SES and cardiovascular risk is more pronounced for women than for men. Implementing interventions to reduce cardiovascular risk factors, particularly among older women with lower SES, might, over time, reduce cardiovascular disease in women and improve quality of life.; Studies of gender differences in the association between socioeconomic status (SES) and cardiovascular risk factors have produced mixed findings. The purpose of this research was to examine whether the association between SES and cardiovascular risk factors differed between older men and women. Using data on physical measures and biomarkers from the 2006 Health and Retirement Study (N = 2,502 men; N = 3,474 women), linear regression models were used to estimate the association between SES and seven cardiovascular risk factors. Interactions between gender and SES were tested. For all seven risks assessed, we observed significant associations of selected SES factors to cardiovascular risk for men and/or women. In all of these cases, lower SES was associated with higher cardiovascular risk. However, for six of the factors, we also observed gender differences in the association between SES and cardiovascular risk, such that lower SES was associated with higher cardiovascular risk for women but not for men. These findings suggest that the association between SES and cardiovascular risk is more pronounced for women than for men. Implementing interventions to reduce cardiovascular risk factors, particularly among older women with lower SES, might, over time, reduce cardiovascular disease in women and improve quality of life.