Table 1

Descriptive characteristics of the sample

Initial sample (16–64, targeted for blood sample)
N=49 385
Final analytic sample for CRP
N=23 025
Final analytic sample for fibrinogen
N=20 724
 Mean (SD)41.2(13.4)43.1(12.4)42.3 (12.2)
Age group
 16–31 (early career)26.620.121.3
 32–47 (mid-career)37.740.442.2
 48–64 (late career)35.739.536.5
Occupational social class (RGSC) from current or past employment
 iii—nm—skilled non-manual22.723.123.3
 iii—m—skilled manual16.717.817.7
 iv—semiskilled manual16.8 16.516.5
 v—unskilled manual5.14.84.6
Housing tenure
 Owns outright20.122.120.9
 Buying with a mortgage/loan52.556.357.5
Economic status
 In paid employment68.075.276.5
 Unemployed, seeking work2.92.22.2
 Sick or disabled6.24.33.6
 Other economically inactive22.718.317.7
Cigarette smoking
 Never smoker45.245.045.5
 Current, <10/day7.67.1 7.1
 Current, 10–19/day11.410.610.7
 Current, 20+/day8.88.48.5
Drinking frequency in past 12 months
 Every couple months or less12.711.511.3
 Once or twice/month13.212.812.9
 Once or twice/week31.232.533.0
 3 or 4 days/week15.818.018.2
 5 days/week or more16.419.018.8
 Not in past 12 months/non-drinker10.06.25.9
BMI categories
Limiting long-term illness?
 No long-term illness61.561.764.3
 Limiting long-term illness21.219.618.1
 Non-limiting long-term illness17.218.717.6
GHQ-12 score
 HSE 199825.630.631.4
 HSE 19990.60.70.7
 HSE 200323.523.923.9
 HSE 200622.021.120.7
 HSE 20097.16.36.2
 SHeS 200312.610.910.7
 SHeS 20082.82.22.1
 SHeS 20092.92.32.1
 SHeS 20102.92.22.1
Government office region
 Yorkshire and Humberside8.29.08.9
 West Midlands8.48.78.9
 East Midlands7.47.97.8
 East Anglia8.89.19.1
Takes medications which could affect inflammation
  • CRP, C reactive protein; GHQ-12, General Health Questionnaire; HSE, Health Survey for England; SHeS, Scottish Health Survey.