Sex and ethnicity modify the associations between individual and contextual socioeconomic indicators and ideal cardiovascular health: MESA study.

J Public Health (Oxf) 2018 Aug 18. Epub 2018 Aug 18.

Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA.

Background: Low socioeconomic status (SES) is associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, but its association with different markers of SES may be heterogeneous by sex and race/ethnicity.

Methods: We have examined the relationships of four SES markers (education, family income, occupation and neighborhood SES) to ideal cardiovascular health (ICH), an index formed by seven variables. A total of 6792 cohort participants from six regions in the USA: Baltimore City and Baltimore County, MD; Chicago, IL; Forsyth County, NC; Los Angeles County, CA; New York, NY; and St. Paul, MN of the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) (52.8% women) were recruited at baseline (2000-2) and included in the present analysis.

Results: ICH was classified as poor, intermediate or ideal. Level of education was significantly and inversely associated with ICH in non-Hispanic White men and women, in Chinese-American and Hispanic American men and African-American women. Family income was inversely and significantly associated with poor ICH in African-American men only.

Conclusions: We conclude that the strength of the associations between some SES markers and ICH differ between sexes and race/ethnic groups.

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