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Life course measures of socioeconomic position and self reported health at age 50: prospective cohort study
  1. Jean Adams1,
  2. Martin White1,
  3. Mark S Pearce2,
  4. Louise Parker2
  1. 1School of Population and Health Sciences, The Medical School, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  2. 2School of Clinical Medical Sciences, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Sir James Spence Institute, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr J Adams
 School of Population and Health Sciences, The Medical School, University of Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4HH, UK;

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There is evidence that premature mortality is predicted by both cumulative1 and pathway measures of life course socioeconomic position (SEP).2 However, no work to date has investigated the relation between life course SEP and self reported health around age 50. We assessed the association between self reported limiting longstanding illness (LLSI) at age 50 and both cross sectional and life course measures of SEP.


The Newcastle thousand families study is a prospective cohort study of all people born in May and June 1947 in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.3 These people have been followed up to age 50 and data are available on SEP at birth (collected contemporaneously), age 25 and age 50 (both collected at age 50)—measured throughout, for consistency, as the registrar general’s social class (RGSC) of the head of household using the 1990 classification of occupations collapsed into either manual or non-manual social classes. LLSI, at age 50, was determined using the question: “do you have any long term illness, health problem or handicap …

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  • Conflicts of interest: none declared.

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