Biomarker links social inequities to poor health
ByAMERICAN PUBLIC HEALTH ASSOCIATION (APHA)
03 November 2012 00:30
Relationship between poverty and health is well known, but new research shows association is also seen in biomarkers of the blood.
Poor man eating at a homeless shelter

Poor 311 R. (photo credit:Reuters)

San Francisco – It is well known that socioeconomic factors such as poverty and low education play a role in health, but new research released recently at the American Public Health Association’s 140th Annual Meeting in San Francisco, California, shows this association is also seen in biomarkers of the blood.

New research suggests that the variation in size of red blood cells known as “red cell distribution width,” (RDW) most recently used as a predictor of hospitalization outcomes and mortality, is now linked back to social causes.



Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.



After controlling for a number of factors, including age, gender, body mass index and history of smoking or disease, results show that those with low education are nearly one and a half times more likely to have high RDW.

Those living below 100 percent of the federal poverty level are nearly twice as likely to have high RDW. African Americans are at higher risk of high RDW than whites, and people who have never been married are more likely to have high RDW. In addition, with each increase in the amount of social resources people have, there is a corresponding decrease in risk of having high RDW.

“We’ve known for years that low education and low income affect myriad health outcomes, but now we are seeing this relationship at the cellular level,” said Matthew Pantell, MS, at UC Berkeley and UCSF, and presenter at APHA’s Annual Meeting. “We’re seeing how social disadvantages and influences can get under the skin and impact health unlike we’ve shown before.”

The findings emerge from 1999-2010 data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, which included 13,460 adults aged 45 or older. The research was conducted at the National Institutes of Health at the National Institute on Aging.

This article was first published at www.newswise.com
Relevant to your professional network? Please share on Linkedin

Prev Article
Green tea found to reduce rate of some GI cancers
Green tea
women's tackle football team
'Sport makes middle-aged people smarter'
Next Article
Share this article via
from around the web
Related Content
Lab
31 August 2014
Weizmann scientists bring nature back to artificially selected lab mice

By JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH

Top Stories
Israel Weather
  • 8 - 18
    Beer Sheva
    10 - 16
    Tel Aviv - Yafo
  • 6 - 12
    Jerusalem
    9 - 15
    Haifa
  • 10 - 20
    Elat
    8 - 17
    Tiberias