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Income, education, important factors in heart disease risk
Date:6/16/2009

e of approximately $16,000 for a single person or $27,000 for a family of three. Socioeconomic status impacts health in a variety of ways, Fiscella said, including the effects of chronic stress due to being poor, living in less safe environments, and having less access to health care.

Researchers used population data from two sources to study whether the FRS consistently underestimated cardiac disease risk among this group of patients. One group consisted of 12,562 men and women from an ongoing Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study, and the other group included 10,300 adults from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey linked to the National Death Index. About 30 percent of the people in both samples met the criteria for low socioeconomic status.

The data showed that when medical factors alone (blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.) are used to predict risk of heart disease, persons of higher and lower economic had similar risks. However, the observed cases of heart disease or death among people of lower socioeconomic status were greater, and the discrepancy was not cleared up in the statistical analysis until socioeconomic status was added as a risk factor.

"Ignoring the risk of lower income and education when making treatment decisions may exacerbate existing health care disparities, which have been increasing over time," Fiscella said.


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Contact: Leslie Orr
Leslie_Orr@urmc.rochester.edu
585-275-5774
University of Rochester Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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