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Am J Prev Med. 1986 Jan-Feb;2(1):1-5.

Race, socioeconomic status, and health: a study of age differences in a depressed area.

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  • 1Division of Epidemiology, Michigan Cancer Foundation, Detroit 48201.


According to the findings of a health survey conducted among 906 young, middle-aged, and elderly residents of an economically depressed area of Alameda County, California, health status is more strongly associated with income than with race, particularly among middle-aged residents. Although income is also significantly associated with health among both young and elderly residents, it is of little substantive importance. These findings support previous research showing that a measure of income difference (less than $6,500 a year), even among residents of a depressed area, can be sufficiently sensitive to identify a group in poor health. More important, the relationship between low income and poor health is most pronounced among middle-aged residents, indicating that the public health needs of these people deserve special attention.

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