Race, socioeconomic status, and premature mortality.


This article summarizes the results of a study examining whether the relationship between race and premature mortality varied by socioeconomic status among men and women who are black or white and between the ages of 25 and 64 years. Using a population-based study design, we tested the hypothesis that the association between race and mortality would differ by socioeconomic status as measured by neighborhood poverty and educational status. We found that the odds of dying prematurely were greater for black men and women who lived in less-affluent neighborhoods than for white men and women who lived in similar neighborhoods. Racial differences were most striking, however, for both black women and white women who lived in more affluent neighborhoods. Our results suggest that socioeconomic status does moderate the effects of race on premature mortality. Strategies to reduce racial disparities in premature mortality in Minnesota must include developing more coordinated health, social, and economic policies and delivering health messages that resonate with younger, more affluent African-American women.

Publication Title

Minnesota medicine

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