Topic: The contribution of health-related behaviours and psychosocial factors to socioeconomic inequalities in mortality among older Australian men
Presenter: Saman Khalatbari Soltani, CEPAR, The University of Sydney
Abstract: Previous research has demonstrated that socioeconomic inequalities in mortality from all and specific causes persist into older age. However, among older adults, little is known about the mechanisms underlying the socioeconomic inequalities in mortality. Using data from the Concord Health and Ageing in Men Project (CHAMP), we aimed to investigate potential mediating effects of health-related behaviours and psychosocial factors in the association between socioeconomic status (SES) and mortality. The main outcomes were all-cause and cause-specific mortality. Educational attainment, occupational position, source of income, housing tenure, and a cumulative SES score were assessed at baseline. Longitudinally assessed health-related behaviours (alcohol consumption, smoking, physical activity), body mass index, structural and functional social support, and depressive and anxiety symptoms were investigated as potential mediators. We showed that the role of health-related behaviours in explaining SES inequalities in mortality was modest. However, social relationships and psychological distress accounted for more than one-third of SES inequalities in deaths from all-causes, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and non-CVD, non-cancer; and for one-fifth of SES inequalities in cancer mortality. These observations provide evidence that social relationships and psychological distress might be appropriate targets for public health policies intended to reduce socioeconomic inequalities in mortality of older men
Saman Khalatbari-Soltani is a Research Fellow at ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR) located in the University of Sydney School of Public Health. She joined the Centre in September 2018 after working for one year as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Internal Medicine, University of Lausanne, Switzerland. She holds a PhD in Life Sciences (University of Lausanne, Switzerland) and a PhD in Epidemiology and Public Health (Swiss School of Public Health). During a one-year Fellowship at the University of Cambridge, she trained in Nutritional Epidemiology. Her current research encompasses the areas of social inequalities and health of older adults and role of behavioural, psychological, and biological factors in the genesis of social disparities in health at older ages.