Objective To examine the association between indicators of lifetime socio-economic position and rates of hysterectomy in three British cohorts. Design Cross-cohort comparative study. Setting Two cohorts: England, Scotland and Wales. Third cohort: Aberdeen, Scotland. Population Three thousand two hundred and eight women born between 1919 and 1940, participating in the British Women's Heart and Health Study (BWHHS); 1394 women from the MRC National Survey of Health and Development (NSHD), followed up since birth in 1946; 3208 women born between 1950 and 1955, participating in the Aberdeen Children of the 1950s study, all with complete information on lifetime socio-economic position and hysterectomy status. Methods Relative indices of inequality were derived for markers of socio-economic position in childhood and adulthood. Cox's regression models were used to test the association between these markers and hysterectomy. Main outcome measure Self-reported hysterectomy with or without oophorectomy. Results Adverse socio-economic position in childhood and as indicated by educational status was associated with reduced rates of hysterectomy in the oldest of the three cohorts (BWHHS), whereas conversely in the NSHD and Aberdeen cohorts it was associated with increased rates of hysterectomy. The unadjusted hazards ratios for hysterectomy comparing worst to best socio-economic position for father's social class were 0.73 (0.56, 0.96) for women from the BWHHS, 1.77 (1.19, 2.65) for those from the NSHD and 2.06 (1.46, 2.89) for those from the Aberdeen cohort. Associations between markers of adult socio-economic position and hysterectomy tended to be weaker in all three cohorts and often did not reach conventional levels of statistical significance. Conclusions Our results show that hysterectomy rates are influenced by childhood socio-economic position and educational attainment, but that the nature of this association varies across these three British cohorts born in different decades of the 20th century. That there were no consistent or strong associations between adult SEP and hysterectomy rates suggest that social factors influencing rates of hysterectomy are likely to be those experienced or which develop in early life rather than those which develop later.
|Translated title of the contribution||Socio-economic position across the life course and hysterectomy in three British cohorts: a cross-cohort comparative study|
|Pages (from-to)||1126 - 1133|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 2005|