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December 10, 2008

Socioeconomic Status and Coronary Heart Disease Risk Prediction

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.