Background: Although objective and subjective indicators of socioeconomic status (SES) are linked to cardiovascular disease (CVD), little is known about their relationship to endothelial dysfunction, which often precedes CVD.
Purpose: This study examined how objective and subjective SES relate to brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD).
Methods: FMD was assessed in 72 healthy adults (mean age 36 years). The MacArthur Scale of Subjective Social Status assessed perceived social standing in the USA (SSS-USA) and local community (SSS-Community). Objective SES measures included income and the Hollingshead Two-Factor Index of Social Position (education, occupation).
Results: Adjusted regressions revealed that SSS-Community positively correlated with FMD (p < 0.05) and explained 8% of the variance. No other SES measures were significant for FMD. The association between FMD and SSS-Community remained significant (p < 0.01) after adjustment for objective SES and other covariates.
Conclusions: Lower subjective social status in one's community may be linked to CVD via impaired vasodilation.