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1.  Residential area deprivation predicts smoking habit independently of individual educational level and occupational social class. A cross sectional study in the Norfolk cohort of the European Investigation into Cancer (EPIC-Norfolk) 
Objectives: To investigate the independent association between individual and area based measures of socioeconomic status and cigarette smoking habit.
Design and setting: Cross sectional, population based study.
Participants and methods: 12 579 men and 15 132 women aged 39–79 years living in the general community participating in the EPIC-Norfolk Study in 1993–1997. The association between social class, educational status, Townsend residential deprivation level, and cigarette smoking status was examined.
Main outcome measures: Cigarette smoking status at baseline survey.
Results: Social class, educational level, and residential deprivation level independently related to cigarette smoking habit in both men and women. Multivariate age adjusted odds ratios for current smoking in men were 1.62 (95% CI 1.45 to 1.81) for manual compared with non-manual social class, 1.32 (95% CI 1.17 to 1.48) for those with educational level less than O level compared with those with O level qualifications or higher and 1.84 (95% CI 1.62 to 2.08) for high versus low area deprivation level. For women, the odds ratios for current smoking for manual social class were 1.14 (95% CI 1.03 to 1.27); 1.31 (95% CI 1.18 to 1.46) for low educational level and 1.68 (95% CI 1.49 to 1.90) for high residential deprivation respectively.
Conclusions: Residential deprivation level using the Townsend score, individual social class, and educational level all independently predict smoking habit in both men and women. Efforts to reduce cigarette smoking need to tackle not just individual but also area based factors. Understanding the specific factors in deprived areas that influence smoking habit may help inform preventive efforts.
PMCID: PMC1732421  PMID: 12646543
2.  Comparing health inequality in men and women: prospective study of mortality 1986-96 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2000;320(7245):1303-1307.
To study prospectively the differences in health inequality in men and women from 1986-96 using the Office for National Statistics' longitudinal study and new socioeconomic classification. To assess the relative importance of social class (based on employment characteristics) and social position according to the general social advantage of the household to mortality risk in men and women.
Prospective study.
England and Wales.
Men and women of working age at the time of the 1981 census, with a recorded occupation.
Main outcome measures
In men, social class based on employment relations, measured according to the Office for National Statistics' socioeconomic classification, was the most important influence on mortality. In women, social class based on individual employment relations and conditions showed only a weak gradient. Large differences in risk of mortality in women were found, however, when social position was measured according to the general social advantage in the household.
Comparisons of the extent of health inequality in men and women are affected by the measures of social inequality used. For women, even those in paid work, classifications based on characteristics of the employment situation may give a considerable underestimate. The Office for National Statistics' new measure of socioeconomic position is useful for assessing health inequality in men, but in women a more important predictor of mortality is inequality in general social advantage of the household.
PMCID: PMC27373  PMID: 10807620
3.  Does personality explain social inequalities in mortality? The French GAZEL cohort study 
The “indirect-selection” hypothesis proposes that some quality of the individual, a personality characteristic or intelligence, leads to both socioeconomic position (SEP) and health. We aim to quantify the contribution of personality measures to the associations between SEP and mortality.
14 445 participants of the GAZEL cohort, aged 39–54 years in 1993 and followed-up over 12.7 years, completed the Bortner-Type-A-scale, the Buss-Durkee-Hostility-Inventory, and the Grossarth-Maticek and Eysenck-Personality-Stress-Inventory. Indicators of SEP, such as father’s social class, education, occupational grade and income, were assessed at baseline. Relative indices of inequality in Cox regression models were used to estimate associations.
In age-adjusted-analyses, risk of death was inversely associated with SEP among men and women. Among men, the attenuation in this association depended on the measures of SEP and was 28–29% for “neurotic-hostility”, 13–22% for “anti-social” and 13–16% for “CHD-prone” personality. In women, the attenuation was evident only for type-A-behaviour, by 11%. After controlling simultaneously for all personality factors that predicted mortality, associations between SEP and mortality were attenuated in men: by 34% for education, 29% for occupational position and 28% for income; but were only attenuated by 11% for income in women. For cardiovascular mortality, the corresponding percentages of reduction were 42%, 31% and 44% after adjustment for “CHD-prone” personality in men.
Personality measures explained some of the mortality gradients observed for measures of adult socioeconomic position in men, but had little explanatory power in women. Whether personality represents a predictor or an outcome of social circumstances needs further research.
PMCID: PMC2650255  PMID: 18276626
Adult; Cardiovascular Diseases; mortality; Cohort Studies; Educational Status; Female; France; epidemiology; Health Status; Humans; Income; Life Style; Linear Models; Male; Middle Aged; Mortality; Personality; Risk; Sex Factors; Social Mobility; Socioeconomic Factors
4.  Socioeconomic Position in Childhood and Adulthood and Weight Gain over 34 Years: The Alameda County Study 
Annals of epidemiology  2007;17(8):608-614.
Socioeconomic position (SEP) has been shown to be related to obesity and weight gain, especially among women. It is unclear how different measures of socioeconomic position may impact weight gain over long periods of time, and whether the effect of different measures vary by gender and age group. We examined the effect of childhood socioeconomic position, education, occupation, and log household income on a measure of weight gain using individual growth mixed regression models and Alameda County Study data collected over thirty four years(1965–1999).
Analyses were performed in four groups stratified by gender and age at baseline: women, 17–30 years (n = 945) and 31–40 years (n = 712); men, 17–30 years (n = 766) and 31–40 years (n = 608).
Low childhood SEP was associated with increased weight gain among women 17–30 (0.13 kg/year, p < 0.001). Low educational status was associated with increased weight gain among women 17–30 (0.14 kg/year, p = 0.030), 31–40 (0.14 kg/year, p = 0.014), and men 17–30 (0.20 kg/year, p = 0.001).
Log household income was inversely associated with weight gain among men 31–40 (−0.10 kg/yr, p = 0.16). Long-term weight gain in adulthood is associated with childhood SEP and education in women and education and income in men.
PMCID: PMC3196359  PMID: 17521922
5.  Multiple socioeconomic determinants of weight gain: the Helsinki Health Study 
BMC Public Health  2013;13:259.
Socioeconomic differences in weight gain have been found, but several socioeconomic determinants have not been simultaneously studied using a longitudinal design. The aim of this study was to examine multiple socioeconomic determinants of weight gain.
Mail surveys were conducted in 2000–2002 among 40 to 60-year old employees of the City of Helsinki, Finland (n = 8 960, response rate 67%). A follow-up survey was conducted among the baseline respondents in 2007 with a mean follow-up of 5 to 7 years (n = 7 332, response rate 83%). The outcome measure was weight gain of 5 kg or more over the follow-up. Socioeconomic position was measured by parental education, childhood economic difficulties, own education, occupational class, household income, home ownership and current economic difficulties. Multivariable logistic regression models were fitted adjusting simultaneously for all covariates in the final model.
Of women 27% and of men 24% gained 5 kg or more in weight over the follow-up. Among women, after adjusting for age, baseline weight and all socioeconomic determinants, those with basic (OR 1.40 95% CI 1.11-1.76) or intermediate education (OR 1.43 95% CI 1.08-1.90), renters (OR 1.18 95% CI 1.03-1.36) and those with occasional (OR 1.19 95% CI 1.03-1.38) or frequent (OR 1.50 95% CI 1.26-1.79) economic difficulties had increased risk of weight gain. Among men, after full adjustment, having current frequent economic difficulties (OR 1.70 95% CI 1.15-2.49) remained associated with weight gain.
Current economic difficulties among both women and men, and among women low education and renting, were associated with weight gain. Prevention of weight gain among ageing people would benefit from focusing in particular on those with economic difficulties.
PMCID: PMC3608219  PMID: 23517457
Socioeconomic position; Weight gain; Follow-up; Adulthood; Childhood; Cohort
6.  Parental socioeconomic position and development of overweight in adolescence: longitudinal study of Danish adolescents 
BMC Public Health  2010;10:520.
An inverse social gradient in overweight among adolescents has been shown in developed countries, but few studies have examined whether weight gain and the development of overweight differs among adolescents from different socioeconomic groups in a longitudinal study. The objective was to identify the possible association between parental socioeconomic position, weight change and the risk of developing overweight among adolescents between the ages 15 to 21.
Prospective cohort study conducted in Denmark with baseline examination in 1996 and follow-up questionnaire in 2003 with a mean follow-up time of 6.4 years. A sample of 1,656 adolescents participated in both baseline (mean age 14.8) and follow-up (mean age 21.3). Of these, 1,402 had a body mass index (BMI = weight/height2kg/m2) corresponding to a value below 25 at baseline when adjusted for age and gender according to guidelines from International Obesity Taskforce, and were at risk of developing overweight during the study period. The exposure was parental occupational status. The main outcome measures were change in BMI and development of overweight (from BMI < 25 to BMI > = 25).
Average BMI increased from 21.3 to 22.7 for girls and from 20.6 to 23.6 in boys during follow-up. An inverse social gradient in overweight was seen for girls at baseline and follow-up and for boys at follow-up. In the full population there was a tendency to an inverse social gradient in the overall increase in BMI for girls, but not for boys. A total of 13.4% developed overweight during the follow-up period. Girls of lower parental socioeconomic position had a higher risk of developing overweight (OR's between 4.72; CI 1.31 to 17.04 and 2.03; CI 1.10-3.74) when compared to girls of high parental socioeconomic position. A tendency for an inverse social gradient in the development of overweight for boys was seen, but it did not meet the significance criteria
The levels of overweight and obesity among adolescents are high and continue to rise. Results from this study suggest that the inverse social gradient in overweight becomes steeper for girls and emerges for boys in late adolescence (age span 15 to 21 years). Late adolescence seems to be an important window of opportunity in reducing the social inequality in overweight among Danish adolescents.
PMCID: PMC2940915  PMID: 20799987
7.  Rate of weight gain predicts change in physical activity levels: a longitudinal analysis of the EPIC-Norfolk cohort 
To investigate the relationship of body weight and its changes over time with physical activity.
Population-based prospective cohort study (Norfolk cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition, EPIC-Norfolk, United Kingdom)
25639 men and women aged 39-79 years at baseline. Physical activity was self-reported. Weight and height were measured by standard clinical procedures at baseline and self-reported at 18-month and 10-y follow-ups (calibrated against clinical measures). Main outcome measure was physical activity at the 10-y follow-up
Body weight and physical activity were inversely associated in cross-sectional analyses. In longitudinal analyses, an increase in weight was associated with higher risk of being inactive 10 years later, after adjusting for baseline activity, 18-month activity, sex, baseline age, prevalent diseases, socioeconomic status, education, smoking, total daily energy intake, and alcohol intake. Compared with stable weight, a gain in weight of >2 kg/y during short-, medium- and long-term was consistently and significantly associated with greater likelihood of physical inactivity after 10 y, with the most pronounced effect for long-term weight gain, OR=1.89 (95% CI: 1.30-2.70) in fully adjusted analysis. Weight gain of 0.5-2 kg/y over long term was substantially associated with physical inactivity after full adjustment, OR=1.26 (95% CI: 1.11-1.41).
Weight gain (during short-, medium- and long-term) is a significant determinant of future physical inactivity independent of baseline weight and activity. Compared with maintaining weight, moderate (0.5-2 kg/y) and large weight gain (>2 kg/y) significantly predict future inactivity; a potentially vicious cycle including further weight gain, obesity and complications associated with a sedentary lifestyle. Based on current predictions of obesity trends, we estimate that the prevalence of inactivity in England would exceed 60% in year 2020.
PMCID: PMC3635037  PMID: 22531093
physical activity; obesity; weight gain; cohort study; epidemiology
8.  Smoking Cessation Increases Short-Term Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Irrespective of Weight Gain: The Japan Public Health Center-Based Prospective Study 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(2):e17061.
The effect of smoking cessation on the risk of diabetes has been reported previously. However, it is unknown whether the association is influenced by weight gain and other potential risk factors.
The Japan Public Health Center-Based Prospective Study established in 1990 for Cohort I and in 1993 for Cohort II provided data, and 25,875 men and 33,959 women were analyzed. The response rate to the baseline questionnaire was 80.9%, and 68.4% of the respondents participated both the 5- and 10-year follow-up surveys. Smoking cessation was noted during the initial five years and the development of diabetes was reported in the subsequent five years.
An increased risk was observed among individuals who newly quit smoking compared with never smokers among men (odds ratio (OR) = 1.42, 95% CI = 1.03–1.94) and women (OR = 2.84, CI = 1.53–5.29). The risk of developing diabetes among male new quitters who gained 3 kg or more during the 5-year follow-up did not substantially differ from the risk among male never smokers with less than 3 kg of weight gain or no weight gain, while an increased risk was observed among male new quitters with less or no weight gain (OR = 1.46, 95%CI 1.00–2.14). An insignificant increased risk was observed among male new quitters with a family history of diabetes compared with male never smokers with a family history of diabetes. The risk was more than twice as high for male new quitters who used to smoke 25 or more cigarettes per day compared with never smokers (OR = 2.15, 95%CI: 1.34–3.47).
An increased risk of diabetes was implied among individuals who quit smoking. However, the increased risk was not implied among those who gained weight over the 5-years of follow-up. Those who had major risk factors for diabetes or who smoked heavier had a higher risk.
PMCID: PMC3409867  PMID: 22879858
9.  Individual social class, area-based deprivation, cardiovascular disease risk factors, and mortality: the Renfrew and Paisley Study 
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the associations of individual and area-based socioeconomic indicators with cardiovascular disease risk factors and mortality. DESIGN: Prospective study. SETTING: The towns of Renfrew and Paisley in the west of Scotland. PARTICIPANTS: 6961 men and 7991 women included in a population-based cardiovascular disease screening study between 1972 and 1976. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Cardiovascular disease risk factors and cardiorespiratory morbidity at the time of screening: 15 year mortality from all causes and cardiovascular disease. RESULTS: Both the area-based deprivation indicator and individual social class were associated with generally less favourable profiles of cardiovascular disease risk factors at the time of the baseline screening examinations. The exception was plasma cholesterol concentration, which was lower for men and women in manual social class groups. Independent contributions of area-based deprivation and individual social class were generally seen with respect to risk factors and morbidity. All cause and cardiovascular disease mortality rates were both inversely associated with socioeconomic position whether indexed by area-based deprivation or social class. The area- based and individual socioeconomic indicators made independent contributions to mortality risk. CONCLUSIONS: Individually assigned and area-based socioeconomic indicators make independent contributions to several important health outcomes. The degree of inequalities in health that exist will not be demonstrated in studies using only one category of indicator. Similarly, adjustment for confounding by socioeconomic position in aetiological epidemiological studies will be inadequate if only one level of indicator is used. Policies aimed at reducing socioeconomic differentials in health should pay attention to the characteristics of the areas in which people live as well as the characteristics of the people who live in these areas.
PMCID: PMC1756721  PMID: 9764262
10.  Using lifestyle factors to identify individuals at higher risk of inflammatory polyarthritis (results from the European Prospective Investigation of Cancer-Norfolk and the Norfolk Arthritis Register—the EPIC-2-NOAR Study) 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2013;73(1):219-226.
To investigate the association of lifestyle factors with risk of inflammatory polyarthritis (IP) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
The European Prospective Investigation of Cancer, Norfolk, UK (EPIC-Norfolk) gathered lifestyle data from participants aged 40–79 years from 1993 to 1997. Individuals who subsequently developed IP were identified by linkage with the Norfolk Arthritis Register. A Cox proportional hazard model was developed, and a score assigned to each risk factor to calculate the odds of developing IP.
25 455 EPIC participants were followed for a median (IQR) of 14.2 (12.9, 15.3) years; 184 developed incident IP (138 cumulatively fulfilled criteria for RA; 107 were seropositive). Pack-years of smoking were associated with increased risk of IP and RA in men (HR 1.21 (95% CI 1.08 to 1.37) per 10-pack-years) and seropositive IP (HR 1.24 (95% CI 1.10 to 1.41)) for all. Diabetes mellitus was associated with increased risk of IP (HR 2.54 (95% CI 1.26 to 5.09)), while alcohol (HR 0.86 (95% CI 0.74 to 0.99) per unit/day) and higher social class (HR 0.36 (95% CI 0.15 to 0.89) for professionals vs manual workers) were associated with reduced risk. Body mass index was associated with seronegative IP (HR 2.75 (95% CI 1.39 to 5.46) for obese vs normal-weight participants). In women, parity (HR 2.81 (95% CI 1.37 to 5.76) for ≥2 vs no children) was associated with increased risk, and breast feeding (HR 0.66 (95% CI 0.46 to 0.94) for every 52 weeks of breast feeding) was inversely associated with risk. Risk factors from the model were used to generate a ‘risk score’. A total of 1159 (8.4%) women had scores reflecting a >3-fold increased risk of IP over those with a score of 0.
Several easily ascertained clinical and lifestyle factors can be used to stratify populations for risk of IP.
PMCID: PMC3888611  PMID: 23505230
Rheumatoid Arthritis; Epidemiology; Smoking
11.  Adults with Greater Weight Satisfaction Report More Positive Health Behaviors and Have Better Health Status Regardless of BMI 
Journal of Obesity  2013;2013:291371.
Background. Prior studies suggest that weight satisfaction may preclude changes in behavior that lead to healthier weight among individuals who are overweight or obese. Objective. To gain a better understanding of complex relationships between weight satisfaction, weight-related health behaviors, and health outcomes. Design. Cross-sectional analysis of data from the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study (ACLS). Participants. Large mixed-gender cohort of primarily white, middle-to-upper socioeconomic status (SES) adults with baseline examination between 1987 and 2002 (n = 19,003). Main Outcome Variables. Weight satisfaction, weight-related health behaviors, chronic health conditions, and clinical health indicators. Statistical Analyses Performed. Chi-square test, t-tests, and linear and multivariate logistic regression. Results. Compared to men, women were more likely to be dieting (32% women; 18% men) and had higher weight dissatisfaction. Men and women with greater weight dissatisfaction reported more dieting, yo-yo dieting, and snacking and consuming fewer meals, being less active, and having to eat either more or less than desired to maintain weight regardless of weight status. Those who were overweight or obese and dissatisfied with their weight had the poorest health. Conclusion. Greater satisfaction with one's weight was associated with positive health behaviors and health outcomes in both men and women and across weight status groups.
PMCID: PMC3686087  PMID: 23862054
12.  Vitamin C and the risk of developing inflammatory polyarthritis: prospective nested case-control study 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2004;63(7):843-847.
Objective: To investigate whether, there is an association between consumption of fruit and vegetables and dietary antioxidants and the risk of developing inflammatory polyarthritis (IP).
Methods: In a prospective, population based, nested case-control study of residents of Norfolk, UK, men and women aged 45–74 years were recruited, between 1993 and 1997 through general practice age-sex registers to the Norfolk arm of the European Prospective Investigation of Cancer (EPIC-Norfolk). Dietary intake was assessed at baseline using 7 day diet diaries. Seventy three participants who went on to develop IP between 1993 and 2001 and were registered by the Norfolk Arthritis Register (NOAR) were identified. Incident cases of IP, assessed by general practitioners, fulfilled the criteria of two or more swollen joints, persisting for a minimum of 4 weeks. Each case of IP was matched for age and sex with two controls free of IP.
Results: Lower intakes of fruit and vegetables, and vitamin C were associated with an increased risk of developing IP. Those in the lowest category of vitamin C intake, compared with the highest, increased their risk of developing IP more than threefold, adjusted odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) 3.3 (95% CI 1.4 to 7.9). Weak inverse associations between vitamin E and ß-carotene intake and IP risk were found.
Conclusion: Patients with IP (cases) consumed less fruit and vitamin C than matched controls, which appeared to increase their risk of developing IP. The mechanism for this effect is uncertain. Thus similar studies are necessary to confirm these results.
PMCID: PMC1755070  PMID: 15194581
13.  Maintaining a High Physical Activity Level Over 20 Years and Weight Gain 
JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association  2010;304(23):10.1001/jama.2010.1843.
Data supporting physical activity guidelines to prevent long-term weight gain are sparse, particularly during the period when the highest risk of weight gain occurs.
To evaluate the relationship between habitual activity levels and changes in body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference over 20 years.
Design, Setting, and Participants
The Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study is a prospective longitudinal study with 20 years of follow-up, 1985-86 to 2005-06. Habitual activity was defined as maintaining high, moderate, and low activity levels based on sex-specific tertiles of activity scores at baseline. Participants comprised a population-based multi-center cohort (Chicago, Illinois; Birmingham, Alabama; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Oakland, California) of 3554 men and women aged 18 to 30 years at baseline.
Main Outcome Measures
Average annual changes in BMI and waist circumference
Over 20 years, maintaining high levels of activity was associated with smaller gains in BMI and waist circumference compared with low activity levels after adjustment for race, baseline BMI, age, education, cigarette smoking status, alcohol use, and energy intake. Men maintaining high activity gained 2.6 fewer kilograms (+ 0.15 BMI units per year; 95 % confidence interval [CI] 0.11-0.18 vs +0.20 in the lower activity group; 95% CI, 0.17-0.23) and women maintaining higher activity gained 6.1 fewer kilograms (+0.17 BMI units per year; 95 % CI, 0.12-0.21 vs. +0.30 in the lower activity group; 95 % CI, 0.25-0.34). Men maintaining high activity gained 3.1 fewer centimeters in waist circumference (+0.52 cm per year; 95 % CI, 0.43-0.61 cm vs 0.67 cm in the lower activity group; 95 % CI, 0.60-0.75) and women maintaining higher activity gained 3.8 fewer centimeters (+0.49 cm per year; 95 % CI, 0.39-0.58 vs 0.67 cm in the lower activity group; 95 % CI, 0.60-0.75).
Maintaining high activity levels through young adulthood may lessen weight gain as young adults transition to middle age, particularly in women.
PMCID: PMC3864556  PMID: 21156948
14.  Obesity and overweight in relation to disease‐specific mortality in men with and without existing coronary heart disease in London: the original Whitehall study 
Heart  2005;92(7):886-892.
To examine the relations between obesity or overweight and coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality in men with and without prevalent CHD in a prospective cohort study.
In the Whitehall study of London‐based male government employees, 18 403 middle age men were followed up for a maximum of 35 years having participated in a medical examination in the late 1960s in which weight, height, CHD status, and a range of other social, physiological, and behavioural characteristics were measured.
In age‐adjusted analyses of men with baseline CHD there was a modest raised risk in the overweight relative to normal weight groups for all cause mortality (hazard ratio 1.10, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.00 to 1.20) and CHD mortality (1.28, 95% CI 1.11 to 1.47) but not for stroke mortality (1.01, 95% CI 0.73 to 1.40). Mortality was similarly raised in the obese group. While these slopes were much steeper in men who were apparently CHD‐free at study induction, the difference in the gradients according to baseline CHD status did not attain significance at conventional levels (p value for interaction ⩾ 0.24). The weight–mortality relations were somewhat attenuated when potential mediating and confounding factors were added to the multivariable models in both men with and men without a history of CHD.
Avoidance of obesity and overweight in adult life in men with and without CHD may reduce their later risk of total and CHD mortality.
PMCID: PMC1860716  PMID: 16269437
obesity; overweight; coronary heart disease; mortality; cohort study
15.  The Unequal Burden of Weight Gain: An Intersectional Approach to Understanding Social Disparities in BMI Trajectories from 1986 to 2001/2002 
The implications of recent weight gain trends for widening social disparities in body weight in the United States are unclear. Using an intersectional approach to studying inequality, and the longitudinal and nationally representative American’s Changing Lives study (19862001/2002), we examine social disparities in body mass index trajectories during a time of rapid weight gain in the United States. Results reveal complex interactive effects of gender, race, socioeconomic position and age, and provide evidence for increasing social disparities, particularly among younger adults. Most notably, among individuals who aged from 25–39 to 45–54 during the study interval, low-educated and low-income black women experienced the greatest increase in BMI, while high-educated and high-income white men experienced the least BMI growth. These new findings highlight the importance of investigating changing disparities in weight intersectionally, using multiple dimensions of inequality as well as age, and also presage increasing BMI disparities in the U.S. adult population.
PMCID: PMC3570259  PMID: 23413316
16.  Socioeconomic status and colon cancer incidence: a prospective cohort study. 
British Journal of Cancer  1995;71(4):882-887.
The association between socioeconomic status and colon cancer was investigated in a prospective cohort study that started in 1986 in The Netherlands among 120,852 men and women aged 55-69 years. At baseline, data on socioeconomic status, alcohol consumption and other dietary and non-dietary covariates were collected by means of a self-administered questionnaire. For data analysis a case-cohort approach was used, in which the person-years at risk were estimated using a randomly selected subcohort (1688 men and 1812 women). After 3.3 years of follow-up, 312 incident colon cancer cases were detected: 157 men and 155 women. After adjustment for age, we found a positive association between colon cancer risk and highest level of education (trend P = 0.13) and social standing (trend P = 0.008) for men. Also, male, upper white-collar workers had a higher colon cancer risk than blue-collar workers (RR = 1.42, 95% CI 0.95-2.11). Only the significant association between social standing and colon cancer risk persisted after additional adjustment for other risk factors for colon cancer (trend P = 0.005), but the higher risk was only found in the highest social standing category (RR highest/lowest social standing = 2.60, 95% CI 1.31-5.14). In women, there were no clear associations between the socioeconomic status indicators and colon cancer.
PMCID: PMC2033752  PMID: 7710959
17.  Relation of weight gain and weight loss on subsequent diabetes risk in overweight adults 
STUDY OBJECTIVE—To determine whether long term weight gain and weight loss are associated with subsequent risk of type 2 diabetes in overweight, non-diabetic adults.
DESIGN—Prospective cohort. Baseline overweight was defined as BMI⩾27.3 for women and BMI⩾27.8 for men. Annual weight change (kg/year) over 10 years was calculated using measured weight at subjects' baseline and first follow up examinations. In the 10 years after measurement of weight change, incident cases of diabetes were ascertained by self report, hospital discharge records, and death certificates.
PARTICIPANTS—1929 overweight, non-diabetic adults.
MAIN RESULTS—Incident diabetes was ascertained in 251 subjects. Age adjusted cumulative incidence increased from 9.6% for BMI<29 to 26.2% for BMI⩾37. Annual weight change over 10 years was higher in subjects who become diabetic compared with those who did not for all BMI<35. Relative to overweight people with stable weight, each kg of weight gained annually over 10 years was associated with a 49% increase in risk of developing diabetes in the subsequent 10 years. Each kg of weight lost annually over 10 years was associated with a 33% lower risk of diabetes in the subsequent 10 years.
CONCLUSIONS—Weight gain was associated with substantially increased risk of diabetes among overweight adults, and even modest weight loss was associated with significantly reduced diabetes risk. Minor weight reductions may have major beneficial effects on subsequent diabetes risk in overweight adults at high risk of developing diabetes. 

Keywords: obesity; diabetes
PMCID: PMC1731720  PMID: 10890871
18.  Influence of Inflammatory Polyarthritis on Quantitative Heel Ultrasound Measurements 
There are few data concerning the impact of inflammatory polyarthritis (IP) on quantitative heel ultrasound (QUS) measurements. The aims of this analysis were i) to determine the influence of IP on QUS measurements at the heel and, ii) among those with IP to determine the influence of disease related factors on these measurements.
Men and women aged 16 years and over with recent onset IP were recruited to the Norfolk Arthritis Register (NOAR). Individuals with an onset of joint symptoms between 1989 and 1999 were included in this analysis. At the baseline visit subjects underwent a standardised interview and clinical examination with blood taken for rheumatoid factor. A population-based prospective study of chronic disease (EPIC-Norfolk) independently recruited men and women aged 40 to 79 years from the same geographic area between 1993 and 1997. At a follow up assessment between 1998 and 2000 subjects in EPIC-Norfolk were invited to have quantitative ultrasound measurements of the heel (CUBA-Clinical) performed. We compared speed of sound (SOS) and broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA), in those subjects recruited to NOAR who had ultrasound measurements performed (as part of EPIC-Norfolk) subsequent to the onset of joint symptoms with a group of age and sex matched non-IP controls who had participated in EPIC-Norfolk. Fixed effect linear regression was used to explore the influence of IP on the heel ultrasound parameters (SOS and BUA) so the association could be quantified as the mean difference in BUA and SOS between cases and controls. In those with IP, linear regression was used to examine the association between these parameters and disease related factors.
139 men and women with IP and 278 controls (mean age 63.2 years) were studied. Among those with IP, mean BUA was 76.3 dB/MHz and SOS 1621.8 m/s. SOS was lower among those with IP than the controls (difference = −10.0; 95% confidence interval (CI) –17.4, -2.6) though BUA was similar (difference = −1.2; 95% CI −4.5, +2.1). The difference in SOS persisted after adjusting for body mass index and steroid use. Among those with IP, disease activity as determined by the number of swollen joints at baseline, was associated with a lower SOS. In addition SOS was lower in the subgroup that satisfied the 1987 ACR criteria. By contrast, disease duration, steroid use and HAQ score were not associated with either BUA or SOS.
In this general population derived cohort of individuals with inflammatory polyarthritis there is evidence from ultrasound of a potentially adverse effect on the skeleton. The effect appears more marked in those with active disease.
PMCID: PMC3441510  PMID: 22834652
19.  Self-rated health does not predict 10-year weight change among middle-aged adults in a longitudinal population study 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:748.
There is a worldwide obesity epidemic, but lack of a simple method, applicable for research or clinical use, to identify individuals at high risk of weight gain. Therefore, the relationship of self-rated health and 10-year percent weight change was evaluated to determine if self-rated health would predict weight change.
From 1990 to 2008, adults aged 30, 40, 50 and 60 years were invited to health surveys that included self-rated health and measured weight and height. ANOVA was used to evaluate the relationship of 10-year percent weight change and self-rated health.
The study population consisted of 29,207 participants (46.5% men). There was no relationship between baseline self-rated health and 10-year percent weight change for middle-aged men or women.
Self-rated health is not able to predict weight change over a 10-year period in this age group.
PMCID: PMC3190356  PMID: 21958199
20.  A simple risk score using routine data for predicting cardiovascular disease in primary care 
The British Journal of General Practice  2010;60(577):e327-e334.
Population-based screening for cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, incorporating blood tests, is proposed in several countries.
The aim of this study was to evaluate whether a simple approach to identifying individuals at high risk of CVD using routine data might be effective.
Design of study
Prospective cohort study (EPIC-Norfolk).
Norfolk area, UK.
A total of 21 867 men and women aged 40–74 years, who were free from CVD and diabetes at baseline, participated in the study. The discrimination (the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve [aROC]), calibration, sensitivity/specificity, and positive/negative predictive value were evaluated for different risk thresholds of the Framingham risk equations and the Cambridge diabetes risk score (as an example of a simple risk score using routine data from electronic general practice records).
During 203 664 person-years of follow-up, 2213 participants developed a first CVD event (10.9 per 1000 person-years). The Cambridge diabetes risk score predicted CVD events reasonably well (aROC 0.72; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.71 to 0.73), while the Framingham risk score had the best predictive ability (aROC 0.77; 95% CI = 0.76 to 0.78). The Framingham risk score overestimated risk of developing CVD in this representative British population by 60%.
A risk score incorporating routinely available data from GP records performed reasonably well at predicting CVD events. This suggests that it might be more efficient to use routine data as the first stage in a stepwise population screening programme to identify people at high risk of developing CVD before more time- and resource-consuming tests are used.
PMCID: PMC2913758  PMID: 20822683
cardiovascular disease; diabetes; prediction; primary care; risk assessment
21.  Validity of Perceived Weight Gain in Women using Long-acting Reversible Contraception and Depot Medroxyprogesterone Acetate 
To evaluate perceived weight gain in women using contraception and determine the validity of self-reported weight gain.
Study Design
We analyzed data from new contraceptive method users who self-reported weight change at 3, 6, and 12-months after enrollment. We examined a subgroup of participants with objective weight measurements at baseline and 12-months to test the validity of self-reported weight gain.
Thirty-four percent (1,407/4133) of participants perceived weight gain. Compared to copper intrauterine device users, implant users [relative risk (RR)=1.29, 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.10–1.51] and depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) users [RR=1.37, 95% CI, 1.14–1.64] were more likely to report perceived weight gain. Women who perceived weight gain experienced mean weight gain of 10.3 pounds. The sensitivity and specificity of perceived weight gain were 74.6% and 84.4%, respectively.
In most women, perceived weight gain represents true weight gain. Implant and DMPA users are more likely to perceive weight gain among contraception users.
PMCID: PMC3974101  PMID: 23103344
contraception; perceived weight gain; reproductive-age women; weight gain
22.  Fruit and vegetable intake and the risk of hypertension in middle-aged and older women 
American Journal of Hypertension  2011;25(2):180-189.
Despite the promising findings from short-term intervention trials, the long-term effect of habitual fruit and vegetable intake on blood pressure (BP) remains uncertain. We therefore assessed the prospective association between baseline intake of fruits and vegetables and the risk of hypertension in a large cohort of middle-aged and older women.
We conducted analyses among 28,082 US female health professionals aged ≥39 years, free of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and hypertension at baseline. Baseline intake of fruits and vegetables was assessed using semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaires. Incident hypertension was identified from annual follow-up questionnaires.
During 12.9 years of follow-up, 13,633 women developed incident hypertension. After basic adjustment including age, race, and total energy intake, the hazard ratio and 95% CI of hypertension was 0.97 (0.89-1.05), 0.93 (0.85-1.01), 0.89 (0.82-0.97), and 0.86 (0.78-0.94) comparing women who consumed 2-<4, 4-<6, 6-<8, and ≥8 servings/day of total fruits and vegetables with those consuming <2 servings/day. These associations did not change after additionally adjusting for lifestyle factors but were attenuated after further adjustment for other dietary factors. When fruits and vegetables were analyzed separately, higher intake of all fruits but not all vegetables remained significantly associated with reduced risk of hypertension after adjustment for lifestyle and dietary factors. Adding body mass index to the models eliminated all associations.
Higher intake of fruits and vegetables, as part of a healthy dietary pattern, may only contribute a modest beneficial effect to hypertension prevention, possibly through improvement in body weight regulation.
PMCID: PMC3258456  PMID: 21993367
fruits; vegetables; diet; hypertension; prospective; women
23.  Adverse socioeconomic position across the lifecourse increases coronary heart disease risk cumulatively: findings from the British women's heart and health study 
Objective: To examine the associations of childhood and adult measurements of socioeconomic position with coronary heart disease (CHD) risk.
Methods: Cross sectional and prospective analysis of a cohort of 4286 British women who were aged 60–79 years at baseline. Among these women there were 694 prevalent cases of CHD and 182 new incident cases among 13 217 person years of follow up of women who were free of CHD at baseline.
Results: All measurements of socioeconomic position were associated with increased prevalent and incident CHD in simple age adjusted models. There was a cumulative effect, on prevalent and incident CHD, of socioeconomic position across the lifecourse. This effect was not fully explained by adult CHD risk factors. The adjusted odds ratio of prevalent CHD for each additional adverse (out of 10) lifecourse socioeconomic indicator was 1.11 (95% confidence interval: 1.06, 1.16). The magnitude of the effect of lifecourse socioeconomic position was the same in women who were lifelong non-smokers as in those who had been or were smokers.
Conclusion: Adverse socioeconomic position across the lifecourse increases CHD risk cumulatively and this effect is not fully explained by adult risk factors. Specifically in this cohort of women cigarette smoking does not seem to explain the association between adverse lifecourse socioeconomic position and CHD risk.
PMCID: PMC1733124  PMID: 16100318
24.  Disagreement between Human Papillomavirus Assays: An Unexpected Challenge for the Choice of an Assay in Primary Cervical Screening 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e86835.
We aimed to determine the disagreement in primary cervical screening between four human papillomavirus assays: Hybrid Capture 2, cobas, CLART, and APTIMA. Material from 5,064 SurePath samples of women participating in routine cervical screening in Copenhagen, Denmark, was tested with the four assays. Positive agreement between the assays was measured as the conditional probability that the results of all compared assays were positive given that at least one assay returned a positive result. Of all 5,064 samples, 1,679 (33.2%) tested positive on at least one of the assays. Among these, 41% tested positive on all four. Agreement was lower in women aged ≥30 years (30%, vs. 49% at <30 years), in primary screening samples (29%, vs. 38% in follow-up samples), and in women with concurrent normal cytology (22%, vs. 68% with abnormal cytology). Among primary screening samples from women aged 30–65 years (n = 2,881), 23% tested positive on at least one assay, and 42 to 58% of these showed positive agreement on any compared pair of the assays. While 4% of primary screening samples showed abnormal cytology, 6 to 10% were discordant on any pair of assays. A literature review corroborated our findings of considerable disagreement between human papillomavirus assays. This suggested that the extent of disagreement in primary screening is neither population- nor storage media-specific, leaving assay design differences as the most probable cause. The substantially different selection of women testing positive on the various human papillomavirus assays represents an unexpected challenge for the choice of an assay in primary cervical screening, and for follow up of in particular HPV positive/cytology normal women.
PMCID: PMC3896484  PMID: 24466262
25.  Weight change and incident metabolic syndrome in Iranian men and women; a 3 year follow-up study 
BMC Public Health  2009;9:138.
Although the association of weight gain and developing metabolic syndrome (MetS) has been reported in the Western and Asian populations, data on the gender-stratified effects of weight change (including weight loss) on incident MetS and its components in the Middle East Caucasians is still scarce.
A total of 1431 men and 2036 women aged ≥ 20 years with BMI > 18.5 kg/m2 were followed over 3 years. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to estimate the relative risk (RR) of MetS and its components (the Adult Treatment Panel III definition) associated with gender-stratified quintiles of percent weight change. Subjects with MetS at baseline were excluded for analyzing the RR of MetS.
There was 20.4% (95% CI, 19.6–21.2) age-adjusted incident MetS (18.4% male vs. 23.1% women). In men, mild weight gain (WG) predicted high waist circumference (WC) and high triglyceride; moderate WG predicted MetS (RR 2.5, 95% CI 1.4–4.3), high WC and high blood pressure (BP); large WG predicted MetS (RR 3.2, 95% CI 1.8–5.7) and its components, except for high fasting plasma glucose. In women, mild WG predicted MetS (RR 2.5, 95% CI 1.4–4.3), high WC and high BP; moderate WG predicted Mets (RR 4.6, 95% CI 2.7–8.0), high WC and high triglyceride; large WG predicted MetS (RR 6.6, 95% CI 3.8–11.3) and its components except for low HDL-cholesterol. Mild weight loss had protective effect on high WC in both genders and MetS in men (RR 0.5, 95% CI 0.26–0.97, P = 0.04).
Weight change showed different effects on MetS in men and women. In women, mild WG predicted MetS; however, mild weight loss was protective against MetS in men and high WC in both genders.
PMCID: PMC2696430  PMID: 19435528

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