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Lower levels of education are associated with increased risks of heart failure
Date:12/8/2010

sease, such as smoking, alcohol intake, exercise, or a family history of diabetes or heart disease, etc. In order to get the most reliable indicator of socioeconomic position, they assessed it by duration of education: less than eight years, 8-10 years, and more than 10 years. In addition, between 2001 and 2003, a random sample of people was assessed using echocardiography, in order to examine the left ventricle of the heart, and systolic and diastolic function [3].

"We used echocardiography as a more reliable way of detecting signs of heart failure, since analyses of hospital admissions may exaggerate the effect of social deprivation because of a possible lower threshold for hospital admission in the relatively deprived," said Prof Prescott.

Prof Prescott and her colleagues found that the most educated men and women had approximately half the risk of heart failure compared with the least educated. After they had adjusted for various cardiovascular risk factors, they found that people who had been educated for more than 10 years had a 39% lower risk of being admitted to hospital for heart failure compared with people who had been educated for less than eight years, and those who had been educated for between 8-10 years had a 25% lower risk. When they looked at the findings from the echocardiography group, the results were similar: people who had been educated for more than 10 years were 39% less likely to have any abnormal echocardiography readings, and those educated for 8-10 years were 28% less likely when compared with the least educated people.

Prof Prescott said: "There are two important findings from this study. The first is that the clear socioeconomic gradient in risk of developing heart failure found in this and in other studies is not explained by differences in lifestyle. Thus, we must look for other explanations, which potentially include differences in treatment of patients; for instance, perhaps the socioeconomically deprived
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Contact: Emma Mason
wordmason@mac.com
European Society of Cardiology
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3 4

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