Socioeconomic inequalities across life and premature mortality from 1971 to 2016: findings from three British birth cohorts born in 1946, 1958 and 1970
Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health
IntroductionDisadvantaged socioeconomic position (SEP) in early and adult life has been repeatedly associated with premature mortality. However, it is unclear whether these inequalities differ across time, nor if they are consistent across different SEP indicators.MethodsBritish birth cohorts born in 1946, 1958 and 1970 were used, and multiple SEP indicators in early and adult life were examined. Deaths were identified via national statistics or notifications. Cox proportional hazard models
... l hazard models were used to estimate associations between ridit scored SEP indicators and all-cause mortality risk—from 26 to 43 years (n=40 784), 26 to 58 years (n=35 431) and 26 to 70 years (n=5353).ResultsMore disadvantaged SEP was associated with higher mortality risk—magnitudes of association were similar across cohort and each SEP indicator. For example, HRs (95% CI) from 26 to 43 years comparing lowest to highest paternal social class were 2.74 (1.02 to 7.32) in 1946c, 1.66 (1.03 to 2.69) in 1958c, and 1.94 (1.20 to 3.15) in 1970c. Paternal social class, adult social class and housing tenure were each independently associated with mortality risk.ConclusionsSocioeconomic circumstances in early and adult life show persisting associations with premature mortality from 1971 to 2016, reaffirming the need to address socioeconomic factors across life to reduce inequalities in survival to older age.