Social climbing is good for your health

It appears social climbing is not just good for your status but may help keep your blood pressure low

Start networking today, as new research suggests social climbing could be good for your health.

The Swedish study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, reveals those born with a lower socioeconomic status who have moved upwards have fewer incidences of high blood pressure than those who remain in a poorer class.

Researchers looked at the blood pressures of 12,000 same sex twins born between 1926 and 1958, and took into account their social statuses and that of their parents.

Those who were found to have climbed the social ladder cut their risk of high blood pressure by a fifth. Whilst 17.1 per cent of people with a low socioeconomic status suffer from high blood pressure, only 12.9 percent of those with a high social status are affected.

‘These findings suggest that the risk of hypertension associated with the low parental social status could be modified by social status later in life,’ says Dr Lovisa Hogberg of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

‘This could possibly be targeted by early introduced public health or political interventions.’

Hypertension causes heart disease and stroke, and affects around one in three adults. Following the results of this study, British experts are calling for action to narrow the class gap’s effect on health.

‘There is increasing evidence that improving people’s socioeconomic status can help improve their health awareness and reduce the health risks associated with their environment,’ says Cathy Ross, a senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation.

‘Action is needed at a national and local level to close the heart health gap between affluent and deprived group, and to make sure people aren’t left behind,’ says Ross.

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