We have argued that a combination of the factors reviewed may account for
inequalities in health, both within and between countries. The situation is complex, but not impossibly so. Much progress has been made in sorting through
potential explanations. The Whitehall studies have been used to illustrate these
possible explanations. There is only a unifying explanation to the extent that
social position is related to a number of factors: differences in early life experience,
differences in behavior, differences in material conditions, and differences in
psychosocial factors. Often investigations focus on just one of these issues, and
thus fail to explore the other factors, making interpretation difficult. Although
there may be multiple factors operating, one is drawn back to the observation
that the social class differences apply to CHD and most causes of death. The
challenge for researchers in this area is to develop the methodology for exploring
the interrelationships and interactions between the influences on health occurring throughout the life course. Only then will it be possible to separate out the
relative importance of the various potential explanations for socioeconomic differentials in CHD and other diseases, which is crucial for planning the strategies
to counter them.
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Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Behavioral Medicine Approaches to Cardiovascular Disease Prevention.
Contributors: Kristina Orth-Gomér - Editor, Neil Schneiderman - Editor.
Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Place of publication: Mahwah, NJ.
Publication year: 1996.
Page number: 39.
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