TitleThe role of health behaviours across the life course in the socioeconomic patterning of all-cause mortality: the west of Scotland twenty-07 prospective cohort study.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsWhitley, E, Batty, GD, Hunt, K, Popham, F, Benzeval, M
JournalAnn Behav Med
Date Published2014 Apr
KeywordsAdult, Aged, Alcohol Drinking, Cohort Studies, Diet, Exercise, Female, Health Behavior, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Prospective Studies, Risk Factors, Scotland, Smoking, Social Class, Socioeconomic Factors, Survival Rate

BACKGROUND: Socioeconomic differentials in mortality are increasing in many industrialised countries.

PURPOSE: This study aims to examine the role of behaviours (smoking, alcohol, exercise, and diet) in explaining socioeconomic differentials in mortality and whether this varies over the life course, between cohorts and by gender.

METHODS: Analysis of two representative population cohorts of men and women, born in the 1950s and 1930s, were performed. Health behaviours were assessed on five occasions over 20 years.

RESULTS: Health behaviours explained a substantial part of the socioeconomic differentials in mortality. Cumulative behaviours and those that were more strongly associated with socioeconomic status had the greatest impact. For example, in the 1950s cohort, the age-sex adjusted hazard ratio comparing respondents with manual versus non-manual occupational status was 1.80 (1.25, 2.58); adjustment for cumulative smoking over 20 years attenuated the association by 49 %, diet by 43 %, drinking by 13 % and inactivity by only 1%.

CONCLUSIONS: Health behaviours have an important role in explaining socioeconomic differentials in mortality.

Alternate JournalAnn Behav Med
PubMed ID24072618
PubMed Central IDPMC3964290
Grant ListMC_A540_5TK50 / / Medical Research Council / United Kingdom
MC_A540_5TK10 / / Medical Research Council / United Kingdom
/ / Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council / United Kingdom
MC_A540_53462 / / Medical Research Council / United Kingdom
MC_U130059811 / / Medical Research Council / United Kingdom
MC_UP_A540_1021 / / Medical Research Council / United Kingdom
MC_UU_12017/7 / / Medical Research Council / United Kingdom