Table 1

Social, material and health characteristics of the study sample for low and high socioeconomic status (SES) at different life ages (%)

Age 16 (n=991)Age 21 (n=988)Age 30 (n=980)Age 42 (n=1001)
VariableLow SES (n=376)High SES (n=611)Low SES (n=621)High SES (n=364)Low SES (n=421)High SES (n=551)Low SES (n=346)High SES (n=646)
Gender (men)53.9950.9056.2*45.655.82*49.1856.94*49.54
Social adversities
 Residential instability20.7419.1521.9018.68
 Illness (parental/close one)37.78*27.2126.2331.1122.5620.8547.08*40.53
 Death of close one27.8526.4617.3618.9639.7736.18
 Separation (parental/own)30.32*17.848.457.5238.89*32.08
 Social isolation18.91*9.4217.29*12.58
 Low decision latitude40.57*13.1141.67*13.12
Material adversities
 Unemployment (parental/own)19.33*7.728.996.5814.39*6.3515.19*3.53
 Spousal unemployment41.58*25.8810.32*3.83
 Poor material standard35.90*25.20
 Residential crowding11.70*4.91
 Low income11.31*29.38
 Low cash margin32.58*18.9634.20*12.6818.68*5.58
 Financial strain29.50*17.4929.33*17.41
 Functional somatic symptoms†3.49 (2.59)3.27 (2.57)3.01 (2.66)*2.50 (2.21)4.14 (2.99)*3.40 (2.85)4.82 (3.56)*3.93 (3.12)
  • *p<0.05 (χ2 test, t test for health outcome).

  • †Mean and SD in brackets.