Do biological measures mediate the relationship between education and health: A comparative study.

TitleDo biological measures mediate the relationship between education and health: A comparative study.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsGoldman, N, Turra, CM, Rosero-Bixby, L, Weir, D, Crimmins, E
JournalSoc Sci Med
Volume72
Issue2
Pagination307-15
Date Published2011 Jan
ISSN Number1873-5347
KeywordsBiomarkers, Blood pressure, Body Mass Index, Cholesterol, Costa Rica, Educational Status, Female, Health Status Disparities, Health Status Indicators, Health Surveys, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Qualitative Research, Taiwan, United States
Abstract

<p>Despite a myriad of studies examining the relationship between socioeconomic status and health outcomes, few have assessed the extent to which biological markers of chronic disease account for social disparities in health. Studies that have examined this issue have generally been based on surveys in wealthy countries that include a small set of clinical markers of cardiovascular disease. The availability of recent data from nationally representative surveys of older adults in Costa Rica and Taiwan that collected a rich set of biomarkers comparable to those in a recent US survey permits us to explore these associations across diverse populations. Similar regression models were estimated on three data sets - the Social Environment and Biomarkers of Aging Study in Taiwan, the Costa Rican Study on Longevity and Healthy Aging, and the Health and Retirement Study in the USA - in order to assess (1) the strength of the associations between educational attainment and a broad range of biomarkers; and (2) the extent to which these biomarkers account for the relationships between education and two measures of health status (self-rated health, functional limitations) in older populations. The estimates suggest non-systematic and weak associations between education and high risk biomarker values in Taiwan and Costa Rica, in contrast to generally negative and significant associations in the US, especially among women. The results also reveal negligible or modest contributions of the biomarkers to educational disparities in the health outcomes. The findings are generally consistent with previous research suggesting stronger associations between socioeconomic status and health in wealthy countries than in middle-income countries and may reflect higher levels of social stratification in the US. With access to an increasing number of longitudinal biosocial surveys, researchers may be better able to distinguish true variations in the relationship between socioeconomic status and health across different settings from methodological differences.</p>

URLhttp://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VBF-51J36FR-3/2/2d9f83f2554d8ecaebaf30d32a09d4be
DOI10.1016/j.socscimed.2010.11.004
User Guide Notes

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21159415?dopt=Abstract

Endnote Keywords

Costa Rica/Taiwan/Biomarkers/Biosocial survey/Socioeconomic disparities/Health outcomes/Longitudinal/Biological measurement/EDUCATION

Endnote ID

23750

Alternate JournalSoc Sci Med
Citation Key7561
PubMed ID21159415
PubMed Central IDPMC3039215
Grant ListU01 AG009740 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG031716 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01AG16790 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
P30AG17265 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R24 HD041028 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
R24 HD047879 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
U01 AG009740-18 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
P30 AG012839 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG016790 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
U01AG009740 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
P30 AG017265 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
/ / Wellcome Trust / United Kingdom
R01 AG016790-10 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R24 HD047879-08 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
072406/Z/03/Z / / Wellcome Trust / United Kingdom
R24HD047879 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States