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Male-female differences in the association between socioeconomic status and atherosclerotic risk in adolescents


  • Murasko, Jason E.


Recent work suggests that the association between socioeconomic status and coronary heart disease may be stronger in adult women than in men. This paper evaluates a parallel to these findings in adolescence (aged 12-17) by examining male-female differences in the association between family income and markers of atherosclerosis in the 1999-2004 US National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. We found that moving from the 25th to 75th income percentile is associated with up to a 5.4% greater reduction in the probability of low HDL-C in females compared to males, and a 4.5% greater reduction in the probability of high C-reactive protein. No associations are found between income and LDL-C in either sex. A stronger income-adiposity association in females explains part of the C-reactive protein result, but not the HDL-C result. The implications of these findings are discussed in the context of lifecourse development of coronary heart disease and related health policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Murasko, Jason E., 2008. "Male-female differences in the association between socioeconomic status and atherosclerotic risk in adolescents," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 67(11), pages 1889-1897, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:67:y:2008:i:11:p:1889-1897

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. repec:pri:cheawb:case_paxson_economic_status_paper is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1999:89:10:1522-1528_6 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2007.111609_2 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
    5. repec:pri:cheawb:case_paxson_economic_status_paper.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Anne Case & Darren Lubotsky & Christina Paxson, 2002. "Economic Status and Health in Childhood: The Origins of the Gradient," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1308-1334, December.
    7. Petrelli, Alessio & Gnavi, Roberto & Marinacci, Chiara & Costa, Giuseppe, 2006. "Socioeconomic inequalities in coronary heart disease in Italy: A multilevel population-based study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 446-456, July.
    8. Jenifer Hamil-Luker & Angela O’rand, 2007. "Gender differences in the link between childhood socioeconomic conditions and heart attack risk in adulthood," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 44(1), pages 137-158, February.
    9. Chandola, Tarani, 1998. "Social inequality in coronary heart disease: a comparison of occupational classifications," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 525-533, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Davillas, A.; Jones, A.M.; Benzeval, M.;, 2017. "The income-health gradient: Evidence from self-reported health and biomarkers using longitudinal data on income," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 17/04, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.


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