Relation of socioeconomic position with ankle-brachial index


Potential upstream determinants of coronary heart disease (CHD) include life-course socioeconomic position (e.g., childhood socioeconomic circumstances, own education and occupation); however, several plausible biological mechanisms by which socioeconomic position (SEP) may influence CHD are poorly understood. Several CHD risk factors appear to be more strongly associated with SEP in women than in men; little is known as to whether any CHD risk factors may be more strongly associated with SEP in men. Objectives were to evaluate whether cumulative life-course SEP is associated with a measurement of subclinical atherosclerosis, the ankle-brachial index (ABI), in men and women. This study was a prospective analysis of 1,454 participants from the Framingham Heart Study Offspring Cohort (mean age 57 years, 53.8% women). Cumulative SEP was calculated by summing tertile scores for father’s education, own education, and own occupation. ABI was dichotomized as low (≤1.1) and normal (>1.1 to 1.4). After adjustment for age and CHD risk factors cumulative life-course SEP was associated with low ABI in men (odds ratio [OR] 2.04, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.22 to 3.42, for low vs high cumulative SEP score) but not in women (OR 0.86, 95% CI 0.56 to 1.33). Associations with low ABI in men were substantially driven by their own education (OR 4.13, 95% CI 1.86 to 9.16, for lower vs higher than high school education). In conclusion, cumulative life-course SEP was associated with low ABI in men but not in women.

Am J Cardiol