We investigated the relationship of socioeconomic status (SES) with the prevalence and the incidence of hypertension in Korea, which is experiencing dynamic socioeconomic transition.Design and Method:
We analyzed population from prospective cohort study, the Korean Genome and epidemiology study which enrolled subjects from 2001 to 2003 in Ansan and Ansung. We recruited 7,089 subjects who underwent 4-year follow-up until 2007. Education duration and income level, two major components of SES, were stratified as follows: Short (≤ 6 years), Mid-Short (7–9 years), Mid-Long (10–12 years), and Long (≥ 12 years) for education; Low (≤ \500,000), Mid-Low (\500,000-\1499999), Mid-High (\1,500,000-\2,999,999) and High (≥ \3,000,000) for monthly income.Results:
In overall, 2,805 subjects (39.5%) were diagnosed as hypertension at baseline. Education and income showed inverse relationship with hypertension prevalence and incidence (p < 0.001,). Men with higher SES showed higher obesity level (p < 0.001), while women demonstrated inverse association (p < 0.001). In multivariate analysis, shorter duration of education was significantly associated with prevalent hypertension, but income level was not. After 4-year follow-up, 605 subjects (14.2%) were newly diagnosed as hypertension. The hazard ratios (95% confidence interval) for incident hypertension across longer education were 0.739 (0.537–1.018), 0.634 (0.458–0.877), and 0.582 (0.387–0.877), compared with Short (reference). There was no significant relationship across higher income: 0.969 (0.701–1.340), 0.770 (0.537–1.103), and 0.682 (0.448–1.036) compared with Low (reference), either.Conclusions:
Education and income level both had associated with hypertension prevalence and incidence, however, only education was independent prognosticators when other risk factors were adjusted.