Table 1

 Theoretical underpinning and potential mechanisms of action on CHD of each measurement of socioeconomic position examined in this study

SEP measurementPossible mechanism of action
Father’s occupational social classAccess to material resources, including ability to afford a healthy diet that could have a lasting effect on CHD
Social status/prestige of family that may affect CHD through psychosocial pathways and adoption of behavioural risk factors such as smoking
Indicator of general family living standards
Passive exposure to occupational toxins
Living in a house without a bathroom as a childAccess to material resources, including ability to afford a healthy diet that could have a lasting effect on CHD
Social status/prestige of family that may affect CHD through psychosocial pathways and adoption of behavioural risk factors such as smoking
Indicator of general family living standards
Difficulties in maintaining good hygiene practices
Exposure to infections
Living in a house with no hot water in childhoodAccess to material resources, including ability to afford a healthy diet that could have a lasting effect on CHD
Social status/prestige of family that may affect CHD through psychosocial pathways and adoption of behavioural risk factors such as smoking
Indicator of general family living standards
Difficulties in maintaining good hygiene practices
Exposure to infections
Sharing a bedroom in childhoodAccess to material resources, including ability to afford a healthy diet that could have a lasting effect on CHD
Exposure to airborne infections
Family car access as a childAccess to material resources, including ability to afford a healthy diet that could have a lasting effect on CHD
Social status/prestige of family that may affect CHD through psychosocial pathways and adoption of behavioural risk factors such as smoking
Indicator of general family living standards
Ability to easily access health care services and leisure facilities
Age at leaving full time educationSocial status/prestige of family that may affect CHD through psychosocial pathways and adoption of behavioural risk factors such as smoking
Ability to access and understand health promoting and disease preventing materials
Peer effects
Greater confidence in dealing with health professionals
May mediate some of the effects of other indicators of early life SEP
Husband’s and/own occupational social classAccess to material resources, including ability to afford a healthy diet that could have a lasting effect on CHD
Reflection of employment relationships that may affect CHD through psychosocial pathways
Social status/prestige that may affect CHD through psychosocial pathways and continuation of behavioural risk factors such as smoking
Indicator of general living standards in adulthood
Exposure to occupational toxins
Housing tenureAccess to material resources, including ability to afford a healthy diet that could have a lasting effect on CHD
Social status/prestige that may affect CHD through psychosocial pathways and continuation of behavioural risk factors such as smoking
Indicator of general living standards in adulthood
Neighbourhood social support
Community facilities, for example, supportive environment for physical activity, local shops
Health effects of housing conditions, such as damp and cold
Car access in adulthoodAccess to material resources, including ability to afford a healthy diet that could have a lasting effect on CHD
Social status/prestige which may affect CHD through psychosocial pathways and continuation of behavioural risk factors such as smoking
Ability to access health care services easily
Pension arrangementsAccess to material resources, including ability to afford a healthy diet that could have a lasting effect on CHD
Indicator of general adult living standards and likely standards into old age