Associations of household expenditure and marital status with cardiovascular risk factors in Japanese adults: analysis of nationally representative surveys

J Epidemiol. 2013;23(1):21-7. doi: 10.2188/jea.je20120021. Epub 2012 Dec 1.


Background: Socioeconomic inequalities in health and social determinants of health are important issues in public health and health policy. We investigated associations of cardiovascular risk factors with household expenditure (as an indicator of socioeconomic status) and marital status in Japan.

Methods: We combined data from 2 nationally representative surveys-the Comprehensive Survey of Living Conditions and the National Health and Nutrition Survey, 2003-2007-and analyzed sex-specific associations of household expenditure quartiles and marital status with cardiovascular risk factors, including obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and diabetes, among 6326 Japanese adults (2664 men and 3662 women) aged 40 to 64 years.

Results: For men, there was no statistically significant association between household expenditure and cardiovascular risk factors. For women, lower household expenditure was significantly associated with obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and the presence of multiple risk factors: the ORs for the lowest versus the highest quartile ranged from 1.39 to 1.71. In a comparison of married and unmarried participants, the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors was higher among married women and lower among married men.

Conclusions: Lower socioeconomic status, as indicated by household expenditure, was associated with cardiovascular risk factors in Japanese women. Socioeconomic factors should be considered in health promotion and prevention of cardiovascular disease.


Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Dyslipidemias / epidemiology
  • Family Characteristics*
  • Female
  • Health Status Disparities*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Marital Status / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Social Class*