Deakin University
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Five-year change in cardiovascular risk factors according to education level : the Australian diabetes, obesity and lifestyle (AusDiab) study

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conference contribution
posted on 2010-01-01, 00:00 authored by Alison Beauchamp, R Wolfe, D Magliano, G Turrell, A Tonkin, J Shaw, Anna PeetersAnna Peeters
Background: Lower socioeconomic status (SES) is strongly associated with a higher prevalence of major cardiovascular risk factors, but few studies have examined changes in these risk factors over time according to SES. We aimed to determine whether SES is a predictor of the change in cardiovascular risk factor levels in a contemporary Australian adult cohort

Methods: Participants in the population-based AusDiab study aged 25+ years who attended both baseline and 5-year follow-up examinations (n=5 954) were categorised according to their level of education at baseline. Cardiovascular risk factor data at both time points were ascertained through questionnaire and physical measurement. Analysis was stratified by gender.

Results: The mean levels of systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol and the prevalence of smoking decreased between the two time points across all educational categories. Increases were also seen in mean BMI and the prevalence of diabetes. For blood pressure, the smallest decrease was seen among men with lower education (age-adjusted difference from higher education 2.8 mmHg, 95% CI 1.0 to 4.6). For total cholesterol, the decrease was greatest among women with lower education (age-adjusted difference from higher education 0.11 mmol/l, 95% CI 0.19 to 0.02). Among those "not at risk" at baseline for each risk factor, women with lower education were more likely than those with higher education to progress to being "at risk" for BMI (age-adjusted odds ratio 1.60, 95% CI 1.09 to 2.35).

Conclusion: Educational gradients narrowed for total cholesterol in women, but widened for systolic blood pressure in men and remained static for other risk factors. Lower education was also associated with an earlier onset of overweight or obesity in women. Given current socioeconomic gradients in risk factors levels, these findings suggest that social inequalities in CVD will persist and may even widen in the future.



European Society of Cardiology. Congress (2010 : Stockholm, Sweden)


239 - 239


Oxford University Press


Stockholm, Sweden

Place of publication

[Stockholm, Sweden]

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End date





European Heart Journal ( 2010 ) 31 ( Abstract Supplement ), 239

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E3.1 Extract of paper

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2010, Oxford University Press

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ESC Congress 2010 : Proceedings of the European Society of Cardiology Congress

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