Psyc 314 SES and Cardiovascular Disease
low SES: people low in income, low education, manual type job, low skill types of jobs
if you come from a poor family you have a lower expected time to live
Poverty has effects comporable to having diseases (cancer). Dying from a biomedical
cause (a chronic disease) is comporable to poverty related deaths
The relationship with SES and health is linear (this cant be explained with the typical
reasons given for low ses [bad sanitation, access to bad, unhealthy foods--these
explanations would cause a threshold for health and SES])
Does it Matter When You are Low in SES?
if you started poor, but then went to university and made a better life for yourself does
that make a difference?
• Kittleson (2006): Kittleson,Archives of Internal Medicine, 2006
• Johns Hopkins University medical school students
• Childhood SES: Father’s occupation
• Followed up for 40 years
• Tracked incidence of coronary heart disease
Recruited medical school students who are high in adult SES
They found out fathers occupation in order to see their childhood SES.
They followed these students for 40 years and looked to see who had coronary heart
Results: if you came from a low SES childhood you are more likely to have coronary
heart disease. Suggesting that your early environment matters ad cannot be overturned
by your adult circumstances. Early childhood matters most (0-5 years of age)
Does it Matter how Long you are Low in SES?
• Hallqvist, Social Science & Medicine, 2004
• Population-based study in Sweden
• SES tracked in childhood, young adulthood, older adulthood
• Myocardial infarction tracked through hospitals & death certificates
took sample of older adults and tracked their SES in childhood, when they were early
adults, and recently in older adulthood
They looked at cardiovascular disease through medical records and death certificates
Results: the longer one spends in low SES in their life time the higher their risk of a
heart attack is. It does matter how long you are poor for Does it Matter where you areAbsolutely or Relatively?
does it matter if you have 50,000 or does it matter only relatively to other peoples
Relatively: 50,000 means something different if you are in a wealthy neighbourhood or
a poor neighbourhood. Effects your emotional state (comparing yourself to others)
Absolutely: 50,000 will pay your bills, it will get you things you need to remain healthy
• Income inequality: how much of a difference is there between the rich and the
poor? This is measured at the provice, country level. Income inequality: how much of
a differencthere is between the rich and the poor in a society
Robin hoodIndex: the amount of money that would have to be take