|Title||Socioeconomic disparities in smoking are partially explained by chronic financial stress: marginal structural model of older US adults|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2020|
|Authors||Parnia, A, Siddiqi, A|
|Journal||Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health|
Background A persistent socioeconomic gradient in smoking has been observed in a variety of populations. While stress is hypothesised to play a mediating role, the extent of this mediation is unclear. We used marginal structural models (MSMs) to estimate the proportion of the effect of socioeconomic status (SES) on smoking, which can be explained by an indicator of stress related to SES, experiences of chronic financial stress.Methods Using the Health and Retirement Study (waves 7–12, 2004–2014), a survey of older adults in the USA, we analysed a total sample of 15 260 people. A latent variable corresponding to adult SES was created using several indicators of socioeconomic position (wealth, income, education, occupation and labour force status). The main analysis was adjusted for other factors that influence the pathway from adult SES to stress and smoking, including personal coping resources, health-related factors, early-life SES indicators and other demographic variables to estimate the proportion of the effect explained by these pathways.Results Compared with those in the top SES quartile, those in the bottom quartile were more than four times as likely to be current smokers (rate ratio 4.37, 95% CI 3.35 to 5.68). The estimate for the MSM attenuated the effect size to 3.34 (95% CI 2.47 to 4.52). Chronic financial stress explained 30.4% of the association between adult SES and current smoking (95% CI 13 to 48).Conclusion While chronic financial stress accounts for part of the socioeconomic gradient in smoking, much remains unexplained.