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Socioeconomic status as a risk factor for dementia death: individual participant meta-analysis of 86 508 men and women from the UK

  • Tom C. Russ (a1), Emmanuel Stamatakis (a2), Mark Hamer (a2), John M. Starr (a1), Mika Kivimäki (a2) and G. David Batty (a3)...



Life-course socioeconomic factors may have a role in dementia aetiology but there is a current paucity of studies. Meta-analyses of individual participant data would considerably strengthen this evidence base.


To examine the association between socioeconomic status in early life and adulthood with later dementia death.


Individual participant meta-analysis of 11 prospective cohort studies (1994–2004, n = 86508).


Leaving full-time education at an earlier age was associated with an increased risk of dementia death in women (fully adjusted hazard ratio (HR) for age ⩽14 v. age ⩾16: HR = 1.76, 95% Cl 1.23–2.53) but not men. Occupational social class was not statistically significantly associated with dementia death in men or women.


Lower educational attainment in women was associated with an increased risk of dementia-related death independently of common risk behaviours and comorbidities.


Corresponding author

Tom C. Russ, Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Research Centre, University of Edinburgh, 7 George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9JZ, UK. Email:


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Preliminary results from this study were presented as a poster at the 2011 Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Paris.

Declaration of interest




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Supplementary Table S1-S3

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Socioeconomic status as a risk factor for dementia death: individual participant meta-analysis of 86 508 men and women from the UK

  • Tom C. Russ (a1), Emmanuel Stamatakis (a2), Mark Hamer (a2), John M. Starr (a1), Mika Kivimäki (a2) and G. David Batty (a3)...
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