The role of health behaviours across the life course in the socioeconomic patterning of all-cause mortality: the West of Scotland Twenty-07 Prospective Cohort Study
BackgroundSocioeconomic differentials in mortality are increasing in many industrialised countries.PurposeThis study aims to examine the role of behaviours (smoking, alcohol, exercise, and diet) in explaining socioeconomic differentials in mortality and whether this varies over the life course, between cohorts and by gender.MethodsAnalysis of two representative population cohorts of men and women, born in the 1950s and 1930s, were performed. Health behaviours were assessed on five occasions over 20 years.ResultsHealth behaviours explained a substantial part of the socioeconomic differentials in mortality. Cumulative behaviours and those that were more strongly associated with socioeconomic status had the greatest impact. For example, in the 1950s cohort, the age-sex adjusted hazard ratio comparing respondents with manual versus non-manual occupational status was 1.80 (1.25, 2.58); adjustment for cumulative smoking over 20 years attenuated the association by 49 %, diet by 43 %, drinking by 13 % and inactivity by only 1%.ConclusionsHealth behaviours have an important role in explaining socioeconomic differentials in mortality.
Annals of Behavioral Medicine
Volume and page numbers
47 , 148 -157
Open Access article