Socioeconomic status: the prime indicator of premature death in Australia

J Biosoc Sci. 1993 Oct;25(4):539-52. doi: 10.1017/s002193200002191x.


The link between socioeconomic status and health has long been recognised. This study of deaths among Australian men aged 15-59 years demonstrates that during the 20-year period, 1966-86 the number of premature deaths was dramatically reduced among all socioeconomic groups, primarily as a result of falls in death rates due to heart disease, stroke and trauma. However, the marked differences in death rates according to social class remain, to the extent that if men of all social classes had the same mortality experiences as professional and technical workers the overall death rates for Australian men would be reduced by 60%. Socioeconomic status is the most important indicator of health status among Australians.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Cause of Death
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison*
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Life Expectancy / trends*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality*
  • Occupations / statistics & numerical data
  • Population Surveillance
  • Socioeconomic Factors*