Life-course perspective on socioeconomic differences in carotid atherosclerosis.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


OBJECTIVE: Socioeconomic status (SES) in adulthood is known to be related to carotid atherosclerosis. However, few studies have tried to assess its association with SES from a life-course perspective. METHODS AND RESULTS: We examined the relationship between SES in childhood and in adulthood and carotid atherosclerosis in a general population of Swedish men and women. Carotid stenosis was determined by B-mode ultrasound. Results showed that women whose fathers' occupations involved unskilled manual labor had higher odds of carotid stenosis than did women whose fathers' occupations involved high- or medium-level nonmanual labor, even after adjustment for adult occupational status and risk factors (odds ratio 1.8, 95% CI 1.1 to 2.8). No such association appeared in men. Furthermore, the impact of life-course SES on atherosclerosis was examined by using an additive measure of one's combined SES during childhood and adulthood. Among women, the odds of carotid stenosis increased with a rise in exposure to low SES during the life-course (P for trend <0.001). In men, no such trend was found. CONCLUSIONS: The results indicate that the total life-course exposure to low SES, with contributions from childhood and adulthood, seems to play a role in atherogenesis in women. Such a pattern of association could not be shown in men.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems


  • atherosclerosis, carotid arteries, life-course, socioeconomic status
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1704-1711
JournalArteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Publication categoryResearch