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A Life Course Approach to Chronic Disease Epidemiology$
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Diana Kuh, Yoav Ben Shlomo, and Susser Ezra

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780198578154

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198578154.001.0001

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Life course approaches to socioeconomic differentials in health

Life course approaches to socioeconomic differentials in health

(p.77) Chapter 4 Life course approaches to socioeconomic differentials in health
A Life Course Approach to Chronic Disease Epidemiology

Diana Kuh

Yoav Ben-Shlomo

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers how influences acting at different stages of life course contribute to the social distribution of risk factors that help determine socioeconomic differences in health. Evidence suggests a strong case for the contribution of socioeconomic conditions at different stages of the life course to health differentials in adulthood. However, the specific weights of the contribution of early and later life socioeconomic conditions differ according to the outcome, time period, and population being studied. For cardiovascular diseases, poor socioeconomic conditions in early life appear to make a significant contribution to disease risk in adult life independent of, and through influences on, adult risk factors. There is also growing evidence that the effect of early life socioeconomic conditions may depend on interactions with other risk factors in later life.

Keywords:   socioeconomic health, risk factor, socioeconomic differences, social distribution, cardiovascular disease

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