[Paleopsych] NYT: Outcomes: In Gauging Twins' Health, Follow the Money
checker at panix.com
Wed Jul 27 20:50:04 UTC 2005
Outcomes: In Gauging Twins' Health, Follow the Money
By NICHOLAS BAKALAR
Female identical twins, even when raised together, differ
significantly in health status depending on the economic class they
attain as adults, according to research published yesterday in Public
Library of Science Medicine.
In a survey of 308 twin pairs, working-class women had higher blood
pressure and higher cholesterol than their professional twins, and
their estimates of their own health were consistently lower than those
of their more affluent sisters.
Their education, however, had little effect.
The results applied to both identical and fraternal twins, although
there was greater variation in health among fraternal twins.
The findings demonstrate the negative health impact of low
socioeconomic status in adulthood, said Nancy Krieger, the lead author
of the study and a professor of society, human development and health
"However much genetic endowment may matter," Dr. Krieger said, these
results show "that lifetime experiences and exposures tied to social
class, and not just genes, determine adult health status."
The authors acknowledge that their research involved only a small
number of pairs who were working class as adults, and that their
research recorded no data on birth order, birth weight or details of
occupational class and income over time. All of those factors, they
said, could affect the interpretation of their results.
Still, they assert that their findings add further proof to a large
body of research showing that chronic exposure to the stresses of low
economic status can harm health, independent of genetic
susceptibilities to illness.
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