Social inequalities and disability in older men: prospective findings from the British regional heart study


Ebrahim, S; Papacosta, O; Wannamethee, G; Adamson, J; (2004) Social inequalities and disability in older men: prospective findings from the British regional heart study. Social science & medicine (1982), 59 (10). pp. 2109-20. ISSN 0277-9536 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2004.03.019

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Abstract

The independent association of socio-economic position with self-reported disability was assessed. The effect of home and car ownership as additional indices of socio-economic position within occupational social classes was explored. Data from a prospective study of a cohort of 7735 men aged 40-59 years at recruitment and representative of the occupational social class distribution of middle-aged men in Great Britain were used. Men were selected from one general practice in each of 24 towns in England, Wales and Scotland in 1978-1980. The present study concerns 5773 (88.4% of those able to take part) men aged 52-73 years at follow up in 1992 who completed the disability section of a postal questionnaire. A quarter (1453) of men reported disability. Socio-economic position measured as both occupational class (social class I vs. V: age-adjusted OR 5.0, 95% CI 3.4-7.5) and ownership of home and car (both vs. neither: age-adjusted OR 2.8, 95% CI 2.3-3.4) showed a graded relationship with likelihood of reporting disability in 1992. Within all social class groups, those owning both home and car had a lower risk of disability than those who owned neither, even after adjustment for a wide range of risk factors. Men from manual occupations were more likely than those in non-manual occupations to report disability on developing chronic diseases. The relationship between socio-economic position and severe, but not milder, disability appeared to be independent of disease status. Socio-economic position is a strong predictor of disability in later life independent of a wide range of lifestyle factors and presence of diagnosed disease. The likelihood of reporting disability between and within social class groups is influenced by material wealth.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Activities of Daily Living, Aged, Cardiovascular Diseases/epidemiology/*physiopathology, Chronic Disease, Disabled Persons/*classification/statistics & numerical data, Great Britain/epidemiology, Humans, Life Style, Male, Middle Aged, Prevalence, Prospective Studies, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, *Sickness Impact Profile, *Social Class, Socioeconomic Factors, *Sociology, Medical, Activities of Daily Living, Aged, Cardiovascular Diseases, epidemiology, physiopathology, Chronic Disease, Disabled Persons, classification, statistics & numerical data, Great Britain, epidemiology, Humans, Life Style, Male, Middle Aged, Prevalence, Prospective Studies, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Sickness Impact Profile, Social Class, Socioeconomic Factors, Sociology, Medical
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Non-Communicable Disease Epidemiology
Research Centre: Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)
PubMed ID: 15351476
Web of Science ID: 224017500010
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/12739

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