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Low educational attainment is associated with higher all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in the United States adult population

Khan, Najah, Javed, Zulqarnain, Acquah, Isaac, Hagan, Kobina, Khan, Madiha, Valero-Elizondo, Javier, Chang, Ryan, Javed, Umair, Taha, Mohamad B., Blaha, Michael J., Virani, Salim S., Sharma, Garima, Blankstein, Ron, Gulati, Martha, Mossialos, Elias ORCID: 0000-0001-8664-9297, Hyder, Adnan A., Achirica, Miguel Cainzos and Nasir, Khurram (2023) Low educational attainment is associated with higher all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in the United States adult population. BMC Public Health, 23 (1). p. 900. ISSN 1471-2458

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Identification Number: 10.1186/s12889-023-15621-y

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Educational attainment is an important social determinant of health (SDOH) for cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, the association between educational attainment and all-cause and CVD mortality has not been longitudinally evaluated on a population-level in the US, especially in individuals with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). In this nationally representative study, we assessed the association between educational attainment and the risk of all-cause and cardiovascular (CVD) mortality in the general adult population and in adults with ASCVD in the US. METHODS: We used data from the 2006-2014 National Death Index-linked National Health Interview Survey for adults ≥ 18 years. We generated age-adjusted mortality rates (AAMR) by levels of educational attainment (< high school (HS), HS/General Education Development (GED), some college, and ≥ College) in the overall population and in adults with ASCVD. Cox proportional hazards models were used to examine the multivariable-adjusted associations between educational attainment and all-cause and CVD mortality. RESULTS: The sample comprised 210,853 participants (mean age 46.3), representing ~ 189 million adults annually, of which 8% had ASCVD. Overall, 14.7%, 27%, 20.3%, and 38% of the population had educational attainment < HS, HS/GED, Some College, and ≥ College, respectively. During a median follow-up of 4.5 years, all-cause age-adjusted mortality rates were 400.6 vs. 208.6 and 1446.7 vs. 984.0 for the total and ASCVD populations for < HS vs ≥ College education, respectively. CVD age adjusted mortality rates were 82.1 vs. 38.7 and 456.4 vs 279.5 for the total and ASCVD populations for < HS vs ≥ College education, respectively. In models adjusting for demographics and SDOH, < HS (reference =  ≥ College) was associated with 40-50% increased risk of mortality in the total population and 20-40% increased risk of mortality in the ASCVD population, for both all-cause and CVD mortality. Further adjustment for traditional risk factors attenuated the associations but remained statistically significant for < HS in the overall population. Similar trends were seen across sociodemographic subgroups including age, sex, race/ethnicity, income, and insurance status. CONCLUSIONS: Lower educational attainment is independently associated with increased risk of all-cause and CVD mortality in both the total and ASCVD populations, with the highest risk observed for individuals with < HS education. Future efforts to understand persistent disparities in CVD and all-cause mortality should pay close attention to the role of education, and include educational attainment as an independent predictor in mortality risk prediction algorithms.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2023. The Author(s).
Divisions: Health Policy
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
L Education
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2023 10:09
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2024 07:51
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/119334

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