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Socioeconomic position in childhood and in adulthood and functional limitations in midlife: Data from a nationally-representative survey of French men and women.

Abstract : Research shows that lifetime socioeconomic circumstances are associated with adult health. Yet most studies to date have focused on mortality and additional data on morbidity outcomes are needed. Additionally, most research in this area has been conducted in Northern European countries or in the United States, and less is known about the extent of socioeconomic inequalities in health in other industrialized countries with different health and labour market characteristics. In this study, we examined the relationship between the socioeconomic trajectory from childhood to adulthood and functional limitations in midlife in France. We used data from a nationally-representative sample of French men and women conducted in 2002-2003 (the Life History survey). Participants (n=4798) were 35-64 years of age at the time of the survey. standardized morbidity ratios (SMRs) associated with different lifelong trajectories were estimated using indirect age standardization. Overall, the socioeconomic trajectory from childhood to adulthood was associated with functional limitations in midlife in both men and women. The experience of lifelong socioeconomic disadvantage was associated with SMRs of 1.44, p<0.0001 in men and 1.21, p=0.0207 in women. In men, the prevalence of functional limitations was low among those who experienced upward intergenerational mobility and high among those who experienced a downward trajectory during the course of their professional career. Additionally, the prevalence of functional limitations was elevated among men and women who experienced unemployment. These findings indicate that in French men and women, lifetime socioeconomic circumstances are associated with functional limitations in midlife. Understanding the mechanisms that underlie these health disparities will require additional studies of specific health outcomes.
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https://www.hal.inserm.fr/inserm-00108752
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Maria Melchior, France Lert, Magali Martin, Isabelle Ville. Socioeconomic position in childhood and in adulthood and functional limitations in midlife: Data from a nationally-representative survey of French men and women.. Social Science and Medicine, Elsevier, 2006, 63 (11), pp.2813-2824. ⟨10.1016/j.socscimed.2006.07.029⟩. ⟨inserm-00108752⟩

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