Intergenerational Social Mobility Affects HTN Risk

Upward mobile group have lower hypertension risk compared to stable low social status group

THURSDAY, July 14 (HealthDay News) -- Low parental socioeconomic status (SES) is associated with an increased hypertension risk, but intergenerational social mobility modifies this risk, according to a study published online July 11 in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

Lovisa Högberg, from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, and colleagues investigated the association between hypertension and parental SES, adult SES, and intergenerational social mobility, using data from the Swedish Twin Registry for 12,030 individuals born between 1926 and 1958.

The investigators found that low parental SES was correlated with significantly increased odds of developing hypertension (odds ratio [OR], 1.42). Women, but not men, with low SES in adulthood had increased odds of developing hypertension (OR, 1.40). The upward mobile group had significantly lower odds of hypertension (OR, 0.82) compared with the low stable SES group. The group with a downwardly mobile SES had an increased risk of hypertension versus the group with a high, stable SES. Co-twin analysis indicated that the results were not affected by familial factors.

"This study shows a positive association between low parental SES and risk of hypertension, indicating that effects of SES on blood pressure start early in life. However, upward social mobility was associated with a decreased risk of hypertension," the authors write.

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