Socioeconomic Position and Inflammatory and Immune Biomarkers of Cardiovascular Disease: Applications to the Panel Study of Income Dynamics

Department of Epidemiology, Center for Social Epidemiology and Population Health, University of Michigan, School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.
Biodemography and Social Biology (Impact Factor: 1.37). 12/2009; 55(2):178-205. DOI: 10.1080/19485560903382304
Source: PubMed


Biomarkers are an important aspect of research linking psychosocial stress and health. This article aims to characterize the biological pathways that may mediate the relationship between socioeconomic position (SEP) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) and address opportunities for further research within the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), with a focus on psychosocial stressors related to SEP. We review the literature on CVD biomarkers, including adhesion and proinflammatory molecules (interleukin-6, other cytokines, C-reactive proteins, fibrinogen, etc.) and microbial pathogens. The impact of socioeconomic determinants and related psychosocial stressors on CVD biomarkers mediated by behavioral and central nervous system pathways are described. We also address measurement and feasibility issues, including specimen collection methods, processing and storage procedures, laboratory error, and within-person variability. In conclusion, we suggest that PSID consider adding important assessments of specific CVD biomarkers and mediating behavioral measures, health, and medications that will ultimately address many of the gaps in the literature regarding the relationship between SEP and cardiovascular health.

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