Logo of bmjLink to Publisher's site
BMJ. Nov 17, 1990; 301(6761): 1121–1123.
PMCID: PMC1664255

Socioeconomic conditions in childhood and ischaemic heart disease during middle age.


OBJECTIVE--To examine the association between socioeconomic conditions in childhood and ischaemic heart disease in middle aged men, including the role of physiological and behavioural risk factors. DESIGN--Prevalence study with extensive examination and testing and with recall of childhood conditions. SETTING--Population based study in Kuopio, Finland. SUBJECTS--Representative sample of 2679 men aged 42, 48, 54, and 60. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Ischaemic findings on progressive maximal exercise test. RESULTS--Low socioeconomic style in childhood was associated with significantly higher prevalence of findings indicating ischaemias. Compared with those in the highest tertile of childhood socioeconomic conditions, the age adjusted odds ratio for subjects in the lowest tertile was 1.44 and for those in the middle tertile 1.35. Adjustment for years of cigarette smoking times the average number of cigarettes smoked, ratio of high density lipoprotein to low density lipoprotein cholesterol, fibrinogen and serum selenium concentrations, and adult height did not appreciably weaken the association. Adjustment for adult socioeconomic state resulted in a 16% decline in the association. The association was reduced to non-significance by adjustment for measures of prevalent cardiovascular illness. CONCLUSIONS--Socioeconomic state in childhood was significantly associated with ischaemic heart disease in middle aged men. Levels of risk factors measured at middle age did not account for this association, nor did adult height. Because childhood socioeconomic conditions precede the development of ischaemic heart disease the substantial impact of prevalent illness on the observed association suggests that ischaemic heart disease develops earlier in those with lower socioeconomic state during childhood.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (692K), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Syme SL, Berkman LF. Social class, susceptibility and sickness. Am J Epidemiol. 1976 Jul;104(1):1–8. [PubMed]
  • Antonovsky A. Social class, life expectancy and overall mortality. Milbank Mem Fund Q. 1967 Apr;45(2):31–73. [PubMed]
  • Marmot MG, Rose G, Shipley M, Hamilton PJ. Employment grade and coronary heart disease in British civil servants. J Epidemiol Community Health. 1978 Dec;32(4):244–249. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Salonen JT. Socioeconomic status and risk of cancer, cerebral stroke, and death due to coronary heart disease and any disease: a longitudinal study in eastern Finland. J Epidemiol Community Health. 1982 Dec;36(4):294–297. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Notkola V, Punsar S, Karvonen MJ, Haapakoski J. Socio-economic conditions in childhood and mortality and morbidity caused by coronary heart disease in adulthood in rural Finland. Soc Sci Med. 1985;21(5):517–523. [PubMed]
  • Barker DJ, Osmond C. Infant mortality, childhood nutrition, and ischaemic heart disease in England and Wales. Lancet. 1986 May 10;1(8489):1077–1081. [PubMed]
  • Arnesen E, Forsdahl A. The Tromsø heart study: coronary risk factors and their association with living conditions during childhood. J Epidemiol Community Health. 1985 Sep;39(3):210–214. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Salonen R, Seppänen K, Rauramaa R, Salonen JT. Prevalence of carotid atherosclerosis and serum cholesterol levels in eastern Finland. Arteriosclerosis. 1988 Nov-Dec;8(6):788–792. [PubMed]
  • Barker DJ, Osmond C, Golding J, Kuh D, Wadsworth ME. Growth in utero, blood pressure in childhood and adult life, and mortality from cardiovascular disease. BMJ. 1989 Mar 4;298(6673):564–567. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from BMJ : British Medical Journal are provided here courtesy of BMJ Group


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


  • Cited in Books
    Cited in Books
    PubMed Central articles cited in books
  • MedGen
    Related information in MedGen
  • PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...