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Call for papers: Conference on Integrating Genetics and the Social Sciences, Oct 21-22, 2016, CU-Boulder

PRB training program in policy communication for pre-docs. Application deadline, 2.28.2016

Call for proposals: PSID small grants for research on life course impacts on later life wellbeing

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The social patterns of a biological risk factor for disease: race, gender, socioeconomic position, and C-reactive protein

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

Herd, P., Amelia Karraker, and E. Friedman. 2012. "The social patterns of a biological risk factor for disease: race, gender, socioeconomic position, and C-reactive protein." The Journals of Gerontology. Series B, Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 67(4): 503-13.

OBJECTIVE: Understand the links between race and C-reactive protein (CRP), with special attention to gender differences and the role of class and behavioral risk factors as mediators. METHOD: This study utilizes the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project data, a nationally representative study of older Americans aged 57-85 to explore two research questions. First, what is the relative strength of socioeconomic versus behavioral risk factors in explaining race differences in CRP levels? Second, what role does gender play in understanding race differences? Does the relative role of socioeconomic and behavioral risk factors in explaining race differences vary when examining men and women separately? RESULTS: When examining men and women separately, socioeconomic and behavioral risk factor mediators vary in their importance. Indeed, racial differences in CRP among men aged 57-74 are little changed after adjusting for both socioeconomic and behavioral risk factors with levels 35% higher for black men as compared to white men. For women aged 57-74, however, behavioral risk factors explain 30% of the relationship between race and CRP. DISCUSSION: The limited explanatory power of socioeconomic position and, particularly, behavioral risk factors, in elucidating the relationship between race and CRP among men, signals the need for research to examine additional mediators, including more direct measures of stress and discrimination.

DOI:10.1093/geronb/gbs048 (Full Text)

PMCID: PMC3695599. (Pub Med Central)

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