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Adult socioeconomic position and health of twins

26.07.2005


A paper in this month’s PLoS Medicine concludes that socioeconomic position in adulthood can significantly affect later health. Nancy Krieger and colleagues from Harvard School of Public Health studied 308 pairs of adult female twins from San Francisco who had been raised together until at least age 14. They found that identical twins who had differing socioeconomic position in adulthood differed in their later health.



In identical twins who differed in social class in adulthood, those who were working class were unhealthier - with significantly higher blood pressure and LDL cholesterol - compared with the professional, non-working-class twin. By contrast, identical twins that differed in their educational attainment only did not have significantly different health status. This study makes it possible to work out the additional impact of adult experiences, including those that occurred after completion of education, on adult health in a population matched on early life experiences.

Paul Ocampo | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.hsph.harvard.edu
http://www.plos.org

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