Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Cancer. 2017 Feb 15;140(4):777-787. doi: 10.1002/ijc.30499. Epub 2016 Nov 18.

Lifecourse socioeconomic status and cancer-related risk factors: Analysis of the WHO study on global ageing and adult health (SAGE).

Author information

Department of Epidemiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL.
Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL.
Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York, NY.
Division of Cancer Epidemiology, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA.


Few studies have examined cancer-related risk factors in relation to SES across the lifecourse in low to middle income countries. This analysis focuses on adult women in India, China, Mexico, Russia and South Africa, and examines the association between individual, parental and lifecourse SES with smoking, alcohol, BMI, nutrition and physical activity. Data on 22,283 women aged 18 years and older were obtained from the 2007 WHO Study on Global Aging and Adult Health (SAGE). Overall, 34% of women had no formal education, 73% had mothers with no formal education and 73% of women had low lifecourse SES. Low SES women were almost four times more likely to exceed alcohol use guidelines (OR: 3.86, 95% CI: 1.23-12.10), and 68% more likely to smoke (OR: 1.68, 95% CI: 1.01-2.80) compared with higher SES. Women with low SES mothers and fathers were more likely to have poor nutrition (Mothers OR: 1.59, 95% CI: 1.17-2.16; Fathers OR: 1.33, 95% CI: 1.11-1.59) and more likely to smoke (Mothers OR: 1.46, 95% CI: 1.15-1.87; Fathers OR: 2.17, 95% CI: 1.80-2.63) compared with those with high SES parents. Women with stable low lifecourse SES were more likely to smoke (OR: 2.55, 95% CI: 1.47-4.43), while those with declining lifecourse SES were more likely to exceed alcohol use guidelines (OR: 3.63, 95% CI: 1.07-12.34). Cancer-related risk factors varied significantly by lifecourse SES, suggesting that cancer prevention strategies will need to be tailored to specific sub-groups in order to be most effective.


cancer risk factors; diet; lifecourse; middle income countries; socio-economic status

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center