Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Psychosocial Functioning and Intelligence Both Partly Explain Socioeconomic Inequalities in Premature Death. A Population-Based Male Cohort Study
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD).
Show others and affiliations
2013 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 8, no 12, e82031- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective: The possible contributions of psychosocial functioning and intelligence differences to socioeconomic status (SES)-related inequalities in premature death were investigated. None of the previous studies focusing on inequalities in mortality has included measures of both psychosocial functioning and intelligence. Methods: The study was based on a cohort of 49 321 men born 1949-1951 from the general community in Sweden. Data on psychosocial functioning and intelligence from military conscription at similar to 18 years of age were linked with register data on education, occupational class, and income at 35-39 years of age. Psychosocial functioning was rated by psychologists as a summary measure of differences in level of activity, power of initiative, independence, and emotional stability. Intelligence was measured through a multidimensional test. Causes of death between 40 and 57 years of age were followed in registers. Results: The estimated inequalities in all-cause mortality by education and occupational class were attenuated with 32% (95% confidence interval: 20-45%) and 41% (29-52%) after adjustments for individual psychological differences; both psychosocial functioning and intelligence contributed to account for the inequalities. The inequalities in cardiovascular and injury mortality were attenuated by as much as 51% (24-76%) and 52% (35-68%) after the same adjustments, and the inequalities in alcohol-related mortality were attenuated by up to 33% (8-59%). Less of the inequalities were accounted for when those were measured by level of income, with which intelligence had a weaker correlation. The small SES-related inequalities in cancer mortality were not attenuated by adjustment for intelligence. Conclusions: Differences in psychosocial functioning and intelligence might both contribute to the explanation of observed SES-related inequalities in premature death, but the magnitude of their contributions likely varies with measure of socioeconomic status and cause of death. Both psychosocial functioning and intelligence should be considered in future studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 8, no 12, e82031- p.
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-100390DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0082031ISI: 000328730300070OAI: diva2:693377


Funding agencies:

Swedish Research Council  2007-0992;  Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research  2011-0634;  BBSRC;   EPSRC;   ESRC;   MRC  G0700704/8469

Available from: 2014-02-04 Created: 2014-02-03 Last updated: 2014-03-04Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Hemmingsson, Tomas
By organisation
Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD)
In the same journal
Natural Sciences

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 17 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link