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Circulation. 2002 Aug 6;106(6):703-10.

Socioeconomic disadvantage and change in blood pressure associated with aging.

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  • 1Division of General Medicine, Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY, USA.



Few studies have examined how the longitudinal change in blood pressure associated with aging differs across social groups within industrialized countries.


Data from the Atherosclerosis Risk In Communities Study were used to investigate differences in the incidence of hypertension and in aging-related changes in blood pressure by neighborhood and individual socioeconomic factors over a 9-year follow-up. Disadvantage in multiple socioeconomic dimensions was associated with the greatest risk of developing hypertension (age- and sex-adjusted hazard ratio [HR] and 95% CI: HR 1.95, 95% CI 1.38 to 2.75 in whites and HR 1.43, 95% CI 0.96 to 2.13 in blacks). Aging-related increases in systolic blood pressure were inversely associated with socioeconomic position in whites (mean [SEM] 5-year increase in systolic blood pressure 7 [0.7] mm Hg in the most disadvantaged category and 5.4 [0.4] mm Hg in the most advantaged category). In whites, low socioeconomic position was also associated with more rapid declines in diastolic blood pressure after 50 years of age. Socioeconomic differences in hypertension incidence and changes in systolic blood pressure were reduced after adjustment for baseline blood pressure.


The change in blood pressure associated with aging varies by social groups within the United States.

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