Online Program

Patterns of Allostatic Load Scores Among Different Subsets of the United Kingdom Population: An Exploratory Study

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 10:30 a.m. - 10:48 a.m.

Alexander Chaitoff, MPH, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, Cleveland, OH
Paul Richards, MSc, School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom
Purpose: While indirect links exist between socioeconomic variables and health outcomes, little research directly connect these variables to physiological functions. This study calculated allostatic load scores for different subsets of the United Kingdom population in order to better understand how social may play in health disparities in the country.

Methods: Data from the 2011 National Diet and Nutrition Survey were used to calculate allostatic load scores for a subset of cases (n=365) in accordance with group allostatic load index protocol. Cases were analyzed using a chi square test as well as multiple logistic regression models that accounted for age, general health status, sex, race, income, education, and/or managerial duties at work to elucidate relationships between these factors and the likelihood of cases having a potentially dangerous allostatic load (above 4).

Results: Results indicated that age, general health status, and managerial duties at work all showed significant relationship with allostatic load score. Specifically, higher age (OR = 1.048, p<.001), lower general health status (OR = 1.804, p<.001), and not having managerial duties at work (OR = 0.507, p< 05) were all associated with a higher proportion of allostatic load scores above 4. Contrarily, there were no statistically significant relationships observed between allostatic load score and sex, race, income, or education.

Conclusions: The relationship between managerial duties at work and allostatic load score mirrors other work done in the United Kingdom linking occupation and health outcomes and provides an insight into the physiology responsible for those results. However, the lack of a relationship seen between allostatic load score and sex, race, income, and education contradict some earlier findings, which come largely from the United States. This may suggest that different mechanisms cause health disparities in different countries. Specifically, cultural, historical, socioeconomic, and political factors may explain why allostatic load score trends in populations from the United Kingdom do not match those from the United States. Future studies might continue to characterize how socioeconomic variables are directly associated with markers of physiological functioning.

Learning Areas:

Clinical medicine applied in public health
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the associations between socioeconomic variables and allostatic load scores in a subset of the population in the United Kingdom Compare the findings between the associations between socioeconomic variables and allostatic load scores in the United Kingdom and from earlier studies performed elsewhere Discuss potential historical, cultural, and political reasons for similarities and differences in associations between socioeconomic variables and allostatic load in the United Kingdom and elsewhere

Keyword(s): Health Disparities/Inequities, International Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: A current student at a medical school with the stated goal of training physician-investigators, I obtained my MPH as a 2013 Marshall Scholar at the University of Sheffield. I have worked under multiple federally-funded principal investigators and presented studies at both poster and oral sessions, including at a former APHA Annual Meeting. My research interests have included exploring potential versus realized access to care and other aspects of health disparities.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.