Men who had been in hospital for myocardial infarction (MI) were compared with other male patients in an attempt to provide evidence on the hypothesis linking MI with poverty in childhood followed by relative affluence. In each of three social class groupings MI patients came from larger families than controls, and a higher proportion of their fathers had been unemployed for more than a year during their childhood. This gives some support to the hypothesis that childhood poverty may be associated with an excess risk of MI. There was no obvious evidence of a greater improvement in social class status among the MI patients compared with the controls.
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