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OP20 The Effects of Social Mobility on Blood Pressure at Ages 50 and 60 years- In the Newcastle Thousand Families Study
  1. N L Howe,
  2. K D Mann,
  3. M S Pearce
  1. Institute of Health and Society, Newcastle University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK


Background Many studies have suggested an association between early life circumstances and adult health. Relatively few studies have explored the effects on health of social mobility, the movement of an individual through social classes throughout their lifecourse. This study aimed to examine the effect of social mobility on blood pressure at age 50 and 60 years.

Methods Using data from the Newcastle Thousand Families study, a prospective birth cohort, linear and logistic regression examined the potential association between social mobility, sex, Body Mass Index (BMI), smoking status, physical activity and hypertensive medication upon systolic and diastolic blood pressures at age 50 and 60 years.

Results Upward social mobility was associated with decreased blood pressure, whilst downward mobility was associated with increased blood pressure, compared to socially stable individuals. Social mobility between 25-60 years significantly predicted systolic (P = 0.042) and diastolic (P = 0.041) blood pressure at age 50 years. Social mobility between 25-60 years was a significant predictor of systolic blood pressure (P = 0.044) after adjusting for sex, and diastolic blood pressure (P = 0.002), after adjusting for smoking status but was not significant after adjustment for BMI and physical activity. Social mobility between 50-60 years was significantly associated with high blood pressure at age 50 years (P = 0.009).

Conclusion Social mobility between certain life stages may be predictive of blood pressure in later life. However, blood pressure is also influenced, to a greater extent, by confounding factors such as BMI.

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