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Gerontology. 2006;52(1):51-8.

Effect of age on the relationship of occupational social class with prevalence of modifiable cardiovascular risk factors and cardiovascular diseases. A population-based cross-sectional study from European Prospective Investigation into Cancer - Norfolk (EPIC-Norfolk).

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  • 1Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.



Previous studies on cardiovascular risk profile in different socioeconomic status were focused on younger populations and many of them have not been able to take into account age and sex differences.


To investigate the relationship of occupational social class with the prevalence of cardiovascular disease risk factors and cardiovascular diseases in younger (<65 years) and older (>or=65 years) men and women.


A population-based-cross sectional study was conducted in a general community in Norfolk, United Kingdom. Participants were 23,085 men and women aged 40-79 years, recruited from general practice age-sex registers as part of European Prospective Investigation into Cancer-Norfolk (EPIC-Norfolk). The prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors and cardiovascular diseases were examined.


The prevalence of smoking was significantly higher in those in manual social classes particularly in the younger (<65) age group. Younger women in manual social classes were more likely to be smokers compared to older women in the same social class. Being in manual social classes was associated with higher cholesterol levels in women but lower cholesterol levels in men. Manual social class was associated with higher physical activity in those younger than 65 years but this association was reversed in those 65 years or older.


Occupational social class is differently related to cardiovascular risk factors in individuals depending on their age and sex. This may reflect differences in behavior at work and leisure, which vary by sex and pre- and postretirement. Interventions to promote health and reduce social inequalities need to take age and gender into account.

Copyright 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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