Previous studies have reported inverse associations between socioeconomic status (SES) and lung function, but less is known about whether pulmonary function is affected by SES changes. We aimed to describe the relationship of changes of SES between childhood and adulthood with pulmonary function.
The study sample included 4104 men and women, aged 45–69 years, residents of Krakow, participating in the Polish part of the Health, Alcohol and Psychosocial Factors in Eastern Europe Project.
Forced expiratory volume (FEV 1) and forced vital capacity (FVC) were assessed by the standardised spirometry procedure. Participants were classified into three categories of SES (low, moderate or high) based on information on parent’s education, housing standard during childhood, own education, employment status, household amenities and financial status.
The adjusted difference in mean FVC between persons with low and high adulthood SES was 100 mL (p=0.005) in men and 100 mL (p<0.001) in women; the differences in mean FEV 1 were 103 mL (p<0.001) and 80 mL (p<0.001), respectively. Upward social mobility and moderate or high SES at both childhood and adulthood were related to significantly higher FEV 1 and FVC compared with low SES at both childhood and adulthood or downward social mobility.