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Lower socioeconomic status linked with heart disease despite improvements in other risk factor
Date:8/26/2011

is a heart-disease risk factor on its own and needs to be regarded as such by the medical community," Franks said.

According to Franks, previous studies could help explain the link between low socioeconomic status and increased heart-disease risk. Social disadvantages and adversity in childhood may result in lasting adaptations to stress that take a bigger toll on the heart. Cumulative effects of social disadvantage throughout the lifespan could also cause more "wear and tear" on the cardiovascular system.

Franks advocates for including socioeconomic status in the Framingham risk assessment, a tool based on outcomes from the Framingham Heart Study, which is commonly used to determine treatments for heart-disease prevention. He points out that health-care providers in the United Kingdom already consider socioeconomic status in determining care plans.

"Doctors could, for instance, moderately increase the dosage of cholesterol-lowering drugs to reflect the higher risk imposed by socioeconomic status," said Franks, whose research focuses on addressing health-care disparities. "Changes like this would be easy to implement, and the benefits could be significant."


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Contact: Karen Finney
karen.finney@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu
916-734-9064
University of California - Davis Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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