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Am J Epidemiol. 2003 Oct 15;158(8):736-42.

Contribution of socioeconomic status to the association between hostility and cardiovascular risk behaviors: a prospective cohort study.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Division of Applied Psychology, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.


The authors examined the contribution of childhood and early adulthood socioeconomic status (SES) to the association between adulthood cynical hostility and cardiovascular risk behaviors. Participants from the population-based, prospective Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study were 531 males and 688 females, aged 12-21 years at the baseline in 1983 and 21-30 years at the follow-up in 1992. Cardiovascular risk behaviors comprised the number of cigarettes smoked per day, physical inactivity, the type of fat used in the diet, and the frequency of alcohol consumption. The general linear models showed socioeconomic variation in cynical hostility, butter use in the diet, and smoking. In regression analyses, hostility was positively associated with smoking in men and women (beta coefficients = 0.16 and 0.09; p values = 0.000 and 0.019, respectively) and with frequency of alcohol use (beta coefficients = 0.10 and 0.03; p values = 0.024 and 0.03, respectively). Adding parents' and participants' SES to the model marginally attenuated these associations. The authors conclude that the association of cynical hostility with smoking and alcohol use seems to be independent of intergenerational social mobility and childhood and adulthood SES.

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