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December 10, 2008

Socioeconomic Status and Coronary Heart Disease Risk Prediction

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Departments of Family Medicine, Community & Preventive Medicine, and Oncology, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York (Dr Fiscella); and Department of Pediatrics, Center for Healthcare Policy and Research, University of California at Davis (Dr Tancredi).

JAMA. 2008;300(22):2666-2668. doi:10.1001/jama.2008.792

Achieving the Healthy People 2010 goal of reducing health disparities has been challenging. Disparity in life expectancy by socioeconomic status (SES) has been increasing.1 Much of this disparity is attributable to higher cardiovascular mortality, particularly from coronary heart disease (CHD), among persons of lower SES. Disparities in CHD mortality result from multiple factors, including early life environment and material disadvantage,2 social and behavioral risk factors,3 access to care,4 and systematic underestimation of risk among persons with lower SES in clinical care. This Commentary addresses the importance of SES in CHD risk assessment.