Socioeconomic Aspects of Cardiovascular Health

  • Vicki Myers
  • Yariv GerberEmail author


Extensive epidemiological evidence has demonstrated the socioeconomic ­gradient in cardiovascular health, with the most disadvantaged individuals at greatest risk of developing and dying from cardiovascular disease (CVD). Large-scale studies, beginning in the 1960s, reported significant associations between coronary mortality and occupation grade, income, and education. Individuals with low socioeconomic status (SES) additionally have a poorer prognosis post-myocardial infarction. Explanatory mechanisms explored here include differential access to medical care, differences in risk factor profiles, health literacy, and psychological and environmental factors. The influence of neighborhood SES is examined, beyond individual socioeconomic profile, as well as SES trajectory throughout life, and the relative importance of childhood versus adult SES in the development of CVD. Finally methodological factors are considered, examining the limitations of SES research, measurement issues, and risk prediction. It is proposed that SES should be considered in cardiovascular risk assessment, and that policy changes have the potential to minimize socioeconomic inequalities in cardiovascular health.


Socioeconomic status Cardiovascular disease Epidemiology Mortality Prognosis Myocardial infarction Risk prediction 


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© Springer-Verlag Wien 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Preventive MedicineTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  2. 2.Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, School of Public HealthTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael

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