Social Class

Publication Title: 
Journal of Physical Activity & Health

BACKGROUND: The role of social-environmental factors in physical activity (PA) within lower income and ethnic minority populations is understudied. This study explored correlates of age-related PA and perceived walkability (PW). METHODS: Cross-sectional data (N = 401 women; ?18 y) were collected within the Jane-Finch community in Toronto, Ontario using questionnaires. Generalized additive models, an extension to multiple regression, were used to estimate effect sizes and standard errors.

Author(s): 
Perez, Daniel F.
Ritvo, Paul G.
Brown, Patrick E.
Holowaty, Eric
Ardern, Chris
Publication Title: 
Maturitas

The oldest old are among the fastest growing segment of the population and it is important to understand not only the influence of modifiable lifestyle factors such as diet and nutrition on the achievement of exceptional longevity but also the role, if any, of these factors on maintaining optimal cognitive, mental and physical health into advanced age.

Author(s): 
Hausman, Dorothy B.
Fischer, Joan G.
Johnson, Mary Ann
Publication Title: 
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society

OBJECTIVES: To characterize the social characteristics and physical, functional, mental, and cognitive health of exceptional survivors in the United States and how the experience of exceptional longevity differs according to social status. DESIGN: Nationally representative longitudinal study of older Americans. SETTING: United States. PARTICIPANTS: One thousand six hundred forty-nine men and women born from 1900 to 1911 from the Health and Retirement Study: 1,424 nonsurvivors who died before reaching the age of 97 and 225 exceptional survivors who survived to age 97 and older.

Author(s): 
Ailshire, Jennifer A.
Beltr·n-S·nchez, Hiram
Crimmins, Eileen M.
Publication Title: 
Epidemiology (Cambridge, Mass.)

A cohort of 1,904 vegetarians and persons leading a health-conscious life-style in the Federal Republic of Germany was identified in 1978. After a follow-up of 11 years, mortality from all causes was reduced by one-half compared with the general population [the standardized mortality ratio (SMR) was 0.44 for men, 0.53 for women]. Among the 858 men, 111 deaths were observed, with 255 expected; among the 1,046 women, 114 deaths were observed, with 215 expected.

Author(s): 
Chang-Claude, J.
Frentzel-Beyme, R.
Eilber, U.
Publication Title: 
Journal of Urban Health: Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine

To ask whether social medicine still matters may seem to be in poor taste at a symposium to honor Martin Cherkasky, but social medicine has always had the courage to take on difficult questions. There is all the more reason to do so when its legitimacy is challenged. The extraordinary findings emerging from the human genome project will revolutionize diagnostic and therapeutic methods in medicine. The power of medical interventions, for good and for harm, will increase enormously.

Author(s): 
Eisenberg, L.
Publication Title: 
Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition

This paper examines why the social gradient of life expectancy does not apply in Japan when Okinawa is considered. The social gradient thesis links differences in longevity to social rank, with people and populations in higher status hierarchical positions having lower mortality and longer life expectancies than those beneath them in the social scale. Japan has been cited as a major example of this thesis in that Japanese life expectancy improved dramatically as Japan rose to the top echelon of nations in economic rank in the late 20th century.

Author(s): 
Cockerham, W. C.
Yamori, Y.
Publication Title: 
Maturitas

The oldest old are among the fastest growing segment of the population and it is important to understand not only the influence of modifiable lifestyle factors such as diet and nutrition on the achievement of exceptional longevity but also the role, if any, of these factors on maintaining optimal cognitive, mental and physical health into advanced age.

Author(s): 
Hausman, Dorothy B.
Fischer, Joan G.
Johnson, Mary Ann
Publication Title: 
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences

Many animal and human studies show counterintuitive effects of environmental influences on energy balance and life span. Relatively low social and/or economic status seems to be associated with and produce greater adiposity, and reduced provision (e.g., caloric restriction) of food produces greater longevity. We suggest that a unifying factor may be perceptions of the environment as "energetically insecure" and inhospitable to reproduction, which may in turn provoke adiposity-increasing and longevity-extending mechanisms.

Author(s): 
Kaiser, Kathryn A.
Smith, Daniel L.
Allison, David B.
Publication Title: 
Social Science & Medicine (1982)

The purpose of this study was to examine the association between socioeconomic status (SES) and leukocyte telomere length (LTL) - a marker of cell aging that has been linked to stressful life circumstances - in a nationally representative, socioeconomically and ethnically diverse sample of US adults aged 20-84. Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 1999-2002, we found that respondents who completed less than a high school education had significantly shorter telomeres than those who graduated from college. Income was not associated with LTL.

Author(s): 
Needham, Belinda L.
Adler, Nancy
Gregorich, Steven
Rehkopf, David
Lin, Jue
Blackburn, Elizabeth H.
Epel, Elissa S.
Publication Title: 
Brain, Behavior, and Immunity

Morbidity and mortality are greater among socially disadvantaged racial/ethnic groups and those of lower socioeconomic status (SES). Greater chronic stress exposure in disadvantaged groups may contribute to this by accelerating cellular aging, indexed by shorter age-adjusted telomere length. While studies consistently relate shorter leukocyte telomere length (LTL) to stress, the few studies, mostly from the UK, examining associations of LTL with SES have been mixed.

Author(s): 
Adler, Nancy
Pantell, Matthew S.
O'Donovan, Aoife
Blackburn, Elizabeth
Cawthon, Richard
Koster, Annemarie
Opresko, Patricia
Newman, Anne
Harris, Tamara B.
Epel, Elissa

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