Socioeconomic position at the age of 30 and the later risk of a mental disorder: A nationwide population-based register study

Christian Hakulinen, Kaisla Komulainen, Kimmo Suokas, Sami Pirkola, Laura Pulkki-Råback, Sonja Lumme, Marko Elovainio, Petri Böckerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Background: A study was undertaken to examine the association between multiple indicators of socioeconomic position (SEP) at the age of 30 and the subsequent risk of the most common mental disorders. Methods: All persons born in Finland between 1966 and 1986 who were alive and living in Finland at the end of the year when they turned 30 were included. Educational attainment, employment status and personal total income were used as the alternative measures of SEP. Cox proportional hazards models were used to examine the association of SEP at the age of 30 with later risk of mental disorders. Additional analyses were conducted using a sibling design to account for otherwise unobserved shared family characteristics. Competing risks models were used to estimate absolute risks. Results: The study population included 1 268 768 persons, 26% of whom were later diagnosed with a mental disorder. Lower SEP at age 30 was consistently associated with a higher risk of being later diagnosed with a mental disorder, even after accounting for shared family characteristics and prior history of a mental disorder. Diagnosis-specific analyses showed that the associations were considerably stronger when substance misuse or schizophrenia spectrum disorders were used as an outcome. Absolute risk analyses showed that, by the age of 52 years, 58% of persons who had low educational attainment at the age of 30 were later diagnosed with a mental disorder. Conclusions: Poor SEP at the age of 30 is associated with an increased risk of being later diagnosed with a mental disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberjech-2022-219674
Pages (from-to)298-304
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Epidemiology and Community Health
Volume77
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • EPIDEMIOLOGY
  • MENTAL HEALTH
  • PSYCHIATRY
  • SOCIAL CLASS

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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