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Socioeconomic status and health: The role of subjective social status

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  • Demakakos, Panayotes
  • Nazroo, James
  • Breeze, Elizabeth
  • Marmot, Michael

Abstract

Studies have suggested that subjective social status (SSS) is an important predictor of health. This study examined the link between SSS and health in old age and investigated whether SSS mediated the associations between objective indicators of socioeconomic status and health. It used cross-sectional data from the second wave (2004-2005) of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, which were collected through personal interviews and nurse visits. The study population consisted of 3368 men and 4065 women aged 52 years or older. The outcome measures included: self-rated health, long-standing illness, depression, hypertension, diabetes, central obesity, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, fibrinogen, and C-reactive protein. The main independent variable was SSS measured using a scale representing a 10-rung ladder. Wealth, education, and occupational class were employed as covariates along with age and marital status and also, in additional analyses, as the main independent variables. Gender-specific logistic and linear regression analyses were performed. In age-adjusted analyses SSS was related positively to almost all health outcomes. Many of these relationships remained significant after adjustment for covariates. In men, SSS was significantly (pÂ

Suggested Citation

  • Demakakos, Panayotes & Nazroo, James & Breeze, Elizabeth & Marmot, Michael, 2008. "Socioeconomic status and health: The role of subjective social status," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 330-340, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:67:y:2008:i:2:p:330-340
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Marmot, Michael & Siegrist, Johannes, 2004. "Health inequalities and the psychosocial environment," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 58(8), pages 1461-1461, April.
    2. Singh-Manoux, Archana & Adler, Nancy E. & Marmot, Michael G., 2003. "Subjective social status: its determinants and its association with measures of ill-health in the Whitehall II study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 1321-1333, March.
    3. Siegrist, Johannes & Marmot, Michael, 2004. "Health inequalities and the psychosocial environment--two scientific challenges," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 58(8), pages 1463-1473, April.
    4. Franzini, Luisa & Fernandez-Esquer, Maria Eugenia, 2006. "The association of subjective social status and health in low-income Mexican-origin individuals in Texas," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 788-804, August.
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