Socioeconomic status and heart disease

Association of educational level with inflammatory markers in the Framingham Offspring Study.

Loucks EB, Sullivan LM, Hayes LJ, D’Agostino RB Sr, Larson MG, Vasan RS, Benjamin EJ, Berkman LF.

Department of Society, Human Development and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Socioeconomic position consistently predicts coronary heart disease; however, the biologic mechanisms that may mediate this association are not well understood. The objective of this study was to determine whether socioeconomic position (measured as educational level) is associated with inflammatory risk factors for coronary heart disease, including C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, and P-selectin. The study sample included 2,729 participants (53.4% women; mean age, 62 +/- 10 years) from the US Framingham Offspring Study cohort who attended examination cycles 3 (1984-1987) and 7 (1998-2001) and provided educational attainment data. Inflammatory markers were measured in fasting serum samples. Multivariable linear regression analyses were performed, adjusting for potential confounders including age, sex, and clinical risk factors. In age- and sex-adjusted analyses, educational attainment was significantly inversely associated with C-reactive protein (p < 0.0001), interleukin-6 (p < 0.0001), soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (p < 0.0001), and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (p = 0.0004). After further adjustment for clinical risk factors, educational level remained significantly associated with C-reactive protein (p = 0.0002), soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (p = 0.01), and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (p = 0.01). In conclusion, educational attainment is associated [i.e. negatively] with inflammatory risk factors for coronary heart disease. The association provides evidence suggestive of a biologic pathway by which socioeconomic position may predispose to coronary heart disease.

Or, wonder of wonders, lower educational attainment, which is strongly and inversely correlated with IQ, is a marker for biological (genetic) factors that also predispose to inflammation and subsequent heart disease. Lower socioeconomic status would be just a byproduct od lower IQ, and have nothing causal to do with heart disease. Always amazes me how smart researchers, like these ones from Harvard, can overlook or deliberately ignore biological/genetic factors.


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1 comment
dearieme says August 3, 2012

“Multivariable linear regression analyses were performed”: which is contradictory to the doctrine of the mean i.e. the belief that in matters of health you can suffer from too much of something, and from too little.

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