FRIDAY, July 2, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Upward or downward relative wealth mobility during midlife is associated with lower or higher levels of cardiovascular events later in life, according to a study published online June 30 in JAMA Cardiology.

Sara Machado, Ph.D., from the London School of Economics, and colleagues conducted a longitudinal retrospective cohort study involving U.S. adults aged 50 years or older from the Health and Retirement Study with no history of cardiovascular disease. The association between midlife wealth mobility and risk of cardiovascular events was assessed for 5,579 participants.

The researchers found that 24.0 percent of participants experienced a primary end point of nonfatal cardiovascular event or cardiovascular death during a mean follow-up of 16.9 years (14.4 per 1,000 patient-years). There was an association observed for higher initial wealth with lower cardiovascular risk (adjusted hazard ratio per quintile, 0.89; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.84 to 0.95; P = 0.001). Compared with stable wealth, participants who experienced upward wealth mobility (by at least one quintile) had independently lower hazards of subsequent nonfatal cardiovascular event or cardiovascular death, while those who experienced downward wealth mobility had higher risks, after age 65 (adjusted hazard ratios, 0.84 [95 percent CI, 0.73 to 0.97; P = 0.02] and 1.15 [95 percent CI, 1.00 to 1.32; P = 0.046], respectively).

“These findings suggest that wealth mobility may offset some of the cardiovascular risk associated with past economic hardship,” the authors write. “Further work is necessary to examine this wealth-health association in more diverse populations, elucidate mechanisms for these observations, and identify potential policy interventions to facilitate wealth mobility among low-income adults.”

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

Abstract/Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Copyright © 2021 HealthDay. All rights reserved.