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Although several studies in Western countries show that higher socioeconomic status is associated with higher diet quality, no study has observed this association in Japan. In the current study, we examined the association between diet quality and the combinations of age, sex, and household income, and also compared the dietary intake between diet quality levels according to household income.
National Health and Nutrition Survey, Japan in 2014.
2785 men and 3215 women.
Higher Japanese Food Guide Spinning Top scores (better diet quality) were observed in older women, especially those with higher household income, whereas lower scores were observed in younger men with lower household income. Those having low quality diet, especially in low income households, had higher odds of not meeting the recommended amounts of the Japanese dietary guidelines, than those having high quality diet.
Diet quality in Japanese adults differed by age and sex as well as by household income level. A different approach to diet quality improvement is needed according to population characteristics including not only age and sex but also social economic status.
The disproportionate burden of prevalent, persistent pathogens among disadvantaged groups may contribute to socioeconomic and racial/ethnic disparities in long-term health. We assessed if the social patterning of pathogen burden changed over 16 years in a U.S.-representative sample. Data came from 17 660 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey participants. Pathogen burden was quantified by summing the number of positive serologies for cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex virus-1, HSV-2, human papillomavirus and Toxoplasma gondii and dividing by the number of pathogens tested, giving a percent-seropositive for each participant. We examined sex- and age-adjusted mean pathogen burdens from 1999–2014, stratified by race/ethnicity and SES (poverty-to-income ratio (PIR); educational attainment). Those with a PIR < 1.3 had a mean pathogen burden 1.4–1.8 times those with a PIR > 3.5, with no change over time. Educational disparities were even greater and showed some evidence of increasing over time, with the mean pathogen burden among those with less than a high school education approximately twice that of those who completed more than high school. Non-Hispanic Black, Mexican American and other Hispanic participants had a mean pathogen burden 1.3–1.9 times non-Hispanic Whites. We demonstrate that socioeconomic and racial/ethnic disparities in pathogen burden have persisted across 16 years, with little evidence that the gap is closing.
Low socioeconomic status (SES) has been established as a risk factor for poor mental health; however, the relationship between SES and mental health problems can be confounded by genetic and environmental factors in standard regression analyses and observational studies of unrelated individuals. In this study, we used a within-pair twin design to control for unmeasured genetic and environmental confounders in investigating the association between SES and psychological distress. We also employed within–between pair regression analysis to assess whether the association was consistent with causality. SES was measured using the Index of Relative Socio-economic Disadvantage (IRSD), income and the Australian Socioeconomic Index 2006 (AUSEI06); psychological distress was measured using the Kessler 6 Psychological Distress Scale (K6). Data were obtained from Twins Research Australia’s Health and Lifestyle Questionnaire (2014–2017), providing a maximum sample size of 1395 pairs. Twins with higher AUSEI06 scores had significantly lower K6 scores than their co-twins after controlling for shared genetic and environmental traits (βW [within-pair regression coefficient] = −0.012 units, p = .006). Twins with higher income had significantly lower K6 scores than their co-twins after controlling for familial confounders (βW = −0.182 units, p = .002). There was no evidence of an association between the IRSD and K6 scores within pairs (βW, p = .6). Using a twin design to eliminate the effect of potential confounders, these findings further support the association between low SES and poor mental health, reinforcing the need to address social determinants of poor mental health, in addition to interventions targeted to individuals.
To improve global human capital, an understanding of the interplay of endowment across the full range of socioeconomic status (SES) is needed. Relevant data, however, are absent in the nations with the most abject poverty (Tucker-Drob & Bates, 2016), where the lowest heritability and strong effects of SES are predicted. Here we report the first study of biopsychosocial gene–environment interaction in extreme poverty. In a sub-Saharan sample of early teenage twins (N = 3192), we observed substantial (~30–40%) genetic influence on cognitive abilities. Surprisingly, shared environmental influences were similar to those found in adolescents growing in Western affluent countries (25–28%). G × SES moderation was estimated at aˋ = .06 (p = .355). Family chaos did not moderate genetic effects but did moderate shared environment influence. Heritability of cognitive abilities in extreme poverty appears comparable to Western data. Reduced family chaos may be a modifiable factor promoting cognitive development.
The Interplay of Genes and Environment across Multiple Studies (IGEMS) is a consortium of 18 twin studies from 5 different countries (Sweden, Denmark, Finland, United States, and Australia) established to explore the nature of gene–environment (GE) interplay in functioning across the adult lifespan. Fifteen of the studies are longitudinal, with follow-up as long as 59 years after baseline. The combined data from over 76,000 participants aged 14–103 at intake (including over 10,000 monozygotic and over 17,000 dizygotic twin pairs) support two primary research emphases: (1) investigation of models of GE interplay of early life adversity, and social factors at micro and macro environmental levels and with diverse outcomes, including mortality, physical functioning and psychological functioning; and (2) improved understanding of risk and protective factors for dementia by incorporating unmeasured and measured genetic factors with a wide range of exposures measured in young adulthood, midlife and later life.
Low socioeconomic status (SES) is a barrier for cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk screening and a determinant of poor CVD outcomes. This study examined the associations between access to health-promoting facilities and participation in a CVD risk screening program among populations with low SES residing in public rental flats in Singapore.
Data from Health Mapping Exercises conducted from 2013 to 2015 were obtained, and screening participation rates of 66 blocks were calculated. Negative binomial regression was used to test for associations between distances to four nearest facilities (i.e., subsidized private clinics, healthy eateries, public polyclinics, and parks) and block participation rate in CVD screening. We also investigated potential heterogeneity in the association across regions with an interaction term between distance to each facility and region.
The analysis consisted of 2069 participants. The associations were only evident in the North/North-East region for subsidized private clinic and park. Specifically, increasing distance to the nearest subsidized private clinic and park was significantly associated with lower [incidence rate ratio (IRR) = 0.88, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.80–0.98] and higher (IRR = 1.93, 95%CI: 1.15–3.25) screening participation rates respectively.
Our findings could potentially inform the planning of future door-to-door screenings in urban settings for optimal prioritization of resources. To increase participation rates in low SES populations, accessibility to subsidized private clinics and parks in a high population density region should be considered.
The Nutrition Transition model posits that vegetable oils, animal source foods (ASFs) and caloric sweeteners contribute to increases in adiposity and hence body mass index. Body mass index (BMI) is increasing more rapidly among Latin American populations of low versus high socioeconomic status (SES). The objectives of this study among Costa Rican women were to: (1) compare indicators of adiposity and dietary intake by SES and (2) evaluate the relationship between intake of foods high in vegetable oils, ASFs or caloric sweeteners and body fatness. This cross-sectional study, conducted in 2014–2015, included 128 low-, middle- and high-SES non-pregnant, non-lactating women aged between 25 and 45 years with 1–4 live births. Anthropometry was used to assess BMI, body composition and body fat distribution. Dietary recalls (n = 379) were used to assess dietary intake. Percentage body fat was greater in low- versus high-SES women (31.5 ± 3.9 vs 28.2 ± 4.7%). Skinfold measurements at four sites on the upper and lower body were greater in low- versus high-SES women. Body mass index did not vary in low- versus high-SES women. Intake frequency of foods high in vegetable oils was greater in low- and middle- (1.8 and 1.8 times/day, respectively) versus high- (1.1 times/day) SES women. For individual foods, intake frequency varied significantly by SES for high-fat condiments, fried vegetables, dairy, sweetened coffee/tea and pastries and desserts. Intake frequency of Nutrition Transition food categories was not associated with percentage body fat after adjustment for energy intake. Indicators of body composition provide additional information beyond BMI that are useful in understanding SES–adiposity associations in Latin America. Approaches to understanding diet and adiposity in Latin America that focus on vegetable oils, ASFs and caloric sweeteners should consider within-country variation in the pace of the Nutrition Transition, especially when explaining variation in adiposity by SES.
Although it is crucial to improve the treatment status of people with severe mental illness (SMI), it is still unknown whether and how socioeconomic development influences their treatment status.
To explore the change in treatment status in people with SMI from 1994 to 2015 in rural China and to examine the factors influencing treatment status in those with SMI.
Two mental health surveys using identical methods and ICD-10 were conducted in 1994 and 2015 (population ≥15 years old, n = 152 776) in the same six townships of Xinjin County, Chengdu, China.
Compared with 1994, individuals with SMI in 2015 had significantly higher rates of poor family economic status, fewer family caregivers, longer duration of illness, later age at first onset and poor mental status. Participants in 2015 had significantly higher rates of never being treated, taking antipsychotic drugs and ever being admitted to hospital, and lower rates of using traditional Chinese medicine or being treated by traditional/spiritual healers. The factors strongly associated with never being treated included worse mental status (symptoms/social functioning), older age, having no family caregivers and poor family economic status.
Socioeconomic development influences the treatment status of people with SMI in contemporary rural China. Relative poverty, having no family caregivers and older age are important factors associated with a worse treatment status. Culture-specific, community-based interventions and targeted poverty-alleviation programmes should be developed to improve the early identification, treatment and recovery of individuals with SMI in rural China.
Background. Frequency and quantity of alcohol consumption are metrics commonly used to measure alcohol consumption behaviors. Epidemiological studies indicate that these alcohol consumption measures are differentially associated with (mental) health outcomes and socioeconomic status (SES). The current study aims to elucidate to what extent genetic risk factors are shared between frequency and quantity of alcohol consumption, and how these alcohol consumption measures are genetically associated with four broad phenotypic categories: (i) SES; (ii) substance use disorders; (iii) other psychiatric disorders; and (iv) psychological/personality traits.
Methods. Genome-Wide Association analyses were conducted to test genetic associations with alcohol consumption frequency (N = 438 308) and alcohol consumption quantity (N = 307 098 regular alcohol drinkers) within UK Biobank. For the other phenotypes, we used genome-wide association studies summary statistics. Genetic correlations (rg) between the alcohol measures and other phenotypes were estimated using LD score regression.
Results. We found a substantial genetic correlation between the frequency and quantity of alcohol consumption (rg = 0.52). Nevertheless, both measures consistently showed opposite genetic correlations with SES traits, and many substance use, psychiatric, and psychological/personality traits. High alcohol consumption frequency was genetically associated with high SES and low risk of substance use disorders and other psychiatric disorders, whereas the opposite applies for high alcohol consumption quantity.
Conclusions. Although the frequency and quantity of alcohol consumption show substantial genetic overlap, they consistently show opposite patterns of genetic associations with SES-related phenotypes. Future studies should carefully consider the potential influence of SES on the shared genetic etiology between alcohol and adverse (mental) health outcomes.
We recently reported an association of offspring educational attainment with polygenic risk scores (PRS) computed on parent’s non-transmitted alleles for educational attainment using the second GWAS meta-analysis article on educational attainment published by the Social Science Genetic Association Consortium. Here we test the replication of these findings using a more powerful PRS from the third GWAS meta-analysis article by the Consortium. Each of the key findings of our previous paper is replicated using this improved PRS (N = 2335 adolescent twins and their genotyped parents). The association of children’s attainment with their own PRS increased substantially with the standardized effect size, moving from β = 0.134, 95% CI = 0.079, 0.188 for EA2, to β = 0.223, 95% CI = 0.169, 0.278, p < .001, for EA3. Parent’s PRS again predicted the socioeconomic status (SES) they provided to their offspring and increased from β = 0.201, 95% CI = 0.147, 0.256 to β = 0.286, 95% CI = 0.239, 0.333. Importantly, the PRS for alleles not transmitted to their offspring — therefore acting via the parenting environment — was increased in effect size from β = 0.058, 95% CI = 0.003, 0.114 to β = 0.067, 95% CI = 0.012, 0.122, p = .016. As previously found, this non-transmitted genetic effect was fully accounted for by parental SES. The findings reinforce the conclusion that genetic effects of parenting are substantial, explain approximately one-third the magnitude of an individual’s own genetic inheritance and are mediated by parental socioeconomic competence.
We ask how Black Protestants frame the connection between religion and science, analyzing fifty in-depth interviews with Black Protestants of different socioeconomic backgrounds who attend churches in two U.S. cities. Although individuals across the sample observe some tension, or incompatibility, between religion and science, Black Protestants from lower socioeconomic backgrounds tended to perceive much more tension when compared with those from higher socioeconomic backgrounds. However, when science is thought to contribute to improving health conditions (e.g., medical improvements to diagnose or prevent birth defects), individuals from both SES backgrounds framed religion and science as compatible. This lack of tension in regards to medicine challenges prevailing wisdom about lower-income African Americans’ attitudes towards medicine. We draw out the implications of these findings for larger discussions about trust toward science and scientific communities, elucidating Black Protestant particularities and perspectives in tensions between science and religion as a foundation for further research.
The Canada Health Act requires reasonable access to all medically necessary therapies. No information is available to assess the current access to neuromodulation across Canada. This study quantifies the current rate of deep brain stimulation (DBS) for the entire country of Canada. Analyses were performed to determine whether there were differences in access based on provincial or territorial location, rural or non-rural region, or socioeconomic status.
All implanted DBS devices in Canada over a 2-year epoch (January 2015 to December 2016) were supplied by either Boston Scientific or Medtronic. Investigators received anonymized data from these companies, including patient age and home residence region. The 2016 Statistics Canada census data were used to determine the rate of DBS surgery and whether access was related to provincial location, rural versus non-rural region or socioeconomic status.
A total of 722 patients were studied. The rate of DBS surgery for the entire country was ten per million population per year. Saskatchewan was significantly above (374%) the national average, whereas Quebec (40%) and Newfoundland & Labrador (32%) were significantly below the national average. No patients from the three territories received DBS. There were no significant differences in access from rural versus non-rural areas or in regions within provinces with different socioeconomic status.
This is the first study to quantify all patients receiving DBS within an entire country. The current rate of DBS surgery within Canada is ten cases per million per year. Statistically significant regional differences were discovered and discussed.
Social disadvantage consistently predicts both self-reported distress and clinically diagnosed disorders such as depression. Yet, many individuals who are exposed to disadvantage do not report high levels of distress. This study extends our recent work showing that high cognitive ability may protect against the negative health consequences of exposure to disadvantaged backgrounds. We test whether this ‘buffer effect’ exists across clinically relevant indices of mental health in a population-representative sample.
In total, 27 985 participants were drawn from the UK Household Longitudinal Study (Understanding Society). Clinical diagnoses of depression and clinically relevant measures of psychological distress [i.e. Short Form-12 (SF-12) Mental Component, General Health Questionnaire (GHQ)] and trait neuroticism were assessed. Cognitive ability was derived from performance on word recall, verbal fluency and numerical ability tasks. Early-life disadvantage was gauged using family background measures assessing parental education and occupation at age 14.
Background disadvantage predicted increased levels of reported psychological distress and neuroticism. These associations were moderated by cognitive ability. Across all available mental health measures, the negative association between early-life disadvantage and poor adult mental health was strongest at low (−1 s.d.) cognitive ability and was no longer evident at high (+1 s.d.) levels of cognitive ability.
The results provide support for a cognitive buffering hypothesis linking high cognitive ability to a decrease in the magnitude of the social gradient in mental health. Those disadvantaged by both low socioeconomic status and low cognitive ability may benefit from targeted prevention and treatment programmes aiming to reduce socioeconomic disparities in mental health.
Building on social identity approach and intergroup helping as status relations model, the current research examined the explored effects of stability of social stratification and forms of help on higher socioeconomic status (SES) members’ attitudes towards anti-poverty programs. Two studies were conducted in a 2 (social stratification stability) × 2 (forms of help) design on willingness to support anti-poverty programs. Study 1 examined the conditions of unstable and stable social stratification that might pattern differences in support of hypothetical anti-poverty programs construed as dependency-oriented or autonomy-oriented help. Study 2 replicated and extended study 1 by examining higher SES (subjective) participants’ attitudes towards the cash transfer programs (conditional vs. unconditional, which were determined by their perceptions of the stability of social stratification). Overall, the results of the two studies confirmed that attitudes towards anti-poverty programs could be construed as specific forms of help (dependency-oriented and/or autonomy-oriented help) depending on the nature of the intergroup relations (stability of the social stratification). Finally, the theoretical contribution of the current research is discussed.
Social media has outpaced traditional media to be the most popular sociocultural channel to transmit thin-ideal images, an established trigger for body image concerns and disordered eating in women. With an experimental design, the present research first demonstrated that exposure to thin images on social media threatened women's body image and increased their unhealthy food consumption (Study 1). However, given that thin images posted on social media are usually from wealthier people, the present research hypothesised that it may not be the body shape but the perceived socioeconomic status (SES) of images that indeed have negative effects on women. By manipulating the perceived SES of thin images and incorporating a baseline control group (Study 2), the present research provided causal evidence for the hypothesis by indicating that viewing thin images with parallel-perceived SES could significantly buffer undesirable thin-ideal effects on self-objectification and food intake. Therefore, future research needs to pay more attention to the role of SES in the thin media images literature.
Childhood intake of animal foods is associated with age at first menstrual period (menarche). It is unknown whether the micronutrients present in these foods could explain this association. Our objective was to investigate the associations of micronutrient status biomarkers in middle childhood with age at menarche. We quantified circulating Hb, ferritin, mean corpuscular volume, Zn, vitamin B12, erythrocyte folate and retinol in 1464 pre-menarcheal girls aged 5–12 years in Bogotá, Colombia, and followed them for a median 5·7 years for the occurrence and date of menarche. We estimated median age at menarche and hazard ratios (HR) with 95 % CI by levels of each biomarker with use of Kaplan–Meier survival probabilities and Cox regression, respectively. Median age at menarche was 12·4 years. Middle childhood Hb was inversely related to age at menarche whereas plasma ferritin was positively associated with this outcome in a linear manner. HR of menarche for every 1 sd of Hb (11 g/l) and ferritin (23·2 µg/l) were 1·11 (95 % CI 1·04, 1·18; P=0·001) and 0·94 (95 % CI 0·88, 0·99; P=0·02), respectively, after adjustment for baseline age, C-reactive protein concentration, maternal age at menarche and parity and socioeconomic status. The association with ferritin was stronger in girls aged 9–10 years at baseline. Additional adjustment for baseline height- and BMI-for-age did not change the results. We conclude that higher Fe status in middle childhood is related to later age at menarche whereas Hb concentrations are inversely associated with age at onset of menses.
Major depression is associated with significant disability, morbidity, and mortality. The current study estimated trends in the prevalence of major depression in the US population from 2005 to 2015 overall and by demographic subgroups.
Data were drawn from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), an annual cross-sectional study of US persons ages 12 and over (total analytic sample N = 607 520). Past-year depression prevalence was examined annually among respondents from 2005 to 2015. Time trends in depression prevalence stratified by survey year were tested using logistic regression. Data were re-analyzed stratified by age, gender, race/ethnicity, income, and education.
Depression prevalence increased significantly in the USA from 2005 to 2015, before and after controlling for demographics. Increases in depression were significant for the youngest and oldest age groups, men, and women, Non-Hispanic White persons, the lowest income group, and the highest education and income groups. A significant year × demographic interaction was found for age. The rate of increase in depression was significantly more rapid among youth relative to all older age groups.
The prevalence of depression increased significantly in the USA from 2005 to 2015. The rate of increase in depression among youth was significantly more rapid relative to older groups. Further research into understanding the macro level, micro level, and individual factors that are contributing to the increase in depression, including factors specific to demographic subgroups, would help to direct public health prevention and intervention efforts.
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to assess the contribution of socioeconomic status (SES) and other multivariate predictors to baseline neurocognitive functioning in collegiate athletes. Methods: Data were obtained from the Concussion Assessment, Research and Education (CARE) Consortium. Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) baseline assessments for 403 University of Florida student-athletes (202 males; age range: 18–23) from the 2014–2015 and 2015–2016 seasons were analyzed. ImPACT composite scores were consolidated into one memory and one speed composite score. Hierarchical linear regressions were used for analyses. Results: In the overall sample, history of learning disability (β=−0.164; p=.001) and attention deficit–hyperactivity disorder (β=−0.102; p=.038) significantly predicted worse memory and speed performance, respectively. Older age predicted better speed performance (β=.176; p<.001). Black/African American race predicted worse memory (β=−0.113; p=.026) and speed performance (β=−.242; p<.001). In football players, higher maternal SES predicted better memory performance (β=0.308; p=.007); older age predicted better speed performance (β=0.346; p=.001); while Black/African American race predicted worse speed performance (β=−0.397; p<.001). Conclusions: Baseline memory and speed scores are significantly influenced by history of neurodevelopmental disorder, age, and race. In football players, specifically, maternal SES independently predicted baseline memory scores, but concussion history and years exposed to sport were not predictive. SES, race, and medical history beyond exposure to brain injury or subclinical brain trauma are important factors when interpreting variability in cognitive scores among collegiate athletes. Additionally, sport-specific differences in the proportional representation of various demographic variables (e.g., SES and race) may also be an important consideration within the broader biopsychosocial attributional model. (JINS, 2018, 24, 1–10)
We provide an in-depth description of the mobility (capacity and enacted function, i.e., physical activity and travel behaviour) of community-dwelling older adults of low socioeconomic status. Participants [n = 161, mean age (range) = 74 (65-96) years] completed interviewer-administered questionnaires and objective measures of mobility. Our findings did not generally indicate that older adults of low socioeconomic status have a reduced capacity to be mobile. Participants presented with positive profiles across physical, psychosocial, and social environment domains that influence the capacity to be mobile. They also made a high proportion of trips by foot, although these did not together serve to meet physical activity guidelines for most. We challenge future researchers to focus on innovative strategies to recruit this difficult-to-access population, to consider the influence of socioeconomic status across the lifespan, and the role of behaviour-driven agency when investigating the association between the person, environment, and older adult mobility.
Injury mortality data for adults in the United States and other countries consistently show higher mortality for those with lower socioeconomic status (SES). Data are sparse regarding the role of SES among adult, non-fatal US injuries. The current study estimated non-fatal injury risk by household income using hospital emergency department (ED) visits.
A total of 1,308,892 ED visits at 10 Atlanta (Georgia USA) hospitals from 2001-2004 (347,866 injuries) were studied. The SES was based on US census-block group income, with subjects assigned to census blocks based on reported residence. Logistic regression was used to determine risk by SES for injuries versus all other ED visits, adjusting for demographics, hospital, and weather. Supplemental analyses using hospital data from 2010-2013, without data on SES, were conducted to determine whether earlier patterns by race, age, and gender persisted.
Risk for many injury categories increased with higher income. Odds ratio by quartiles of increasing income (lowest quartile as referent, 95% confidence interval [CI] given for upper most quartile) were 1.00, 1.23, 1.34, 1.40 (95% CI 1.36-1.45) for motor vehicle accidents; 1.00, 1.03, 1.11, 1.24 (95% CI 1.20-1.29) for being struck by objects; 1.00. 0.99, 1.04, 1.12 (95% CI 1.00-1.25) for suicide; and 1.00, 1.03, 1.05, 1.12 (95% CI 1.09-1.15) for falls. In contrast, decreased injury risk with increased household income was seen for assaults (1.00, 0.83, 0.73, 0.67 [95% CI 0.63-0.72], by increasing quartiles). These trends by income did not differ markedly by race and gender. Whites generally had less risk of injuries, with the exception of assaults and motor vehicle accidents. Males had higher risk of injury than females, with the exception of falls and suicide attempts. Patterns of risk for race, age, and gender were consistent between 2001-2004 and 2010-2013.
For most non-fatal injuries, those with higher income had more risk of ED visits, although the opposite was true for assault.
HullandE, ChowdhuryR, SarnatS, ChangHH, SteenlandK. Socioeconomic Status and Non-Fatal Adult Injuries in Selected Atlanta (Georgia USA) Hospitals. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2017;32(4):403–413.