Subjective and objective measures of socioeconomic status: Predictors of cardiovascular risk in college students in Mumbai, India

Sonia Suchday, Rosy Chhabra, Judith Wylie-Rosett, Maureen Almeida

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6 Scopus citations


The relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and health changes as a society develops. In developed countries, high SES is associated with better health, but in developing countries, high SES is associated with poorer health. However, measuring SES is difficult in countries like India, where the traditional class and caste system are interwoven and complex. The current study explored the relationship between subjective and objective indices of SES and between SES and the metabolic syndrome among Asian Indians residing in Mumbai, India. Participants were a subset of young adults (N=112, median age 19 years, 24% male) who were part of larger study assessing psychosocial correlates of the metabolic syndrome. SES was assessed through objective (father's education) and subjective (SES ladder) indices. Data indicated that high subjective SES was correlated with fasting blood sugar (r=.28, P<.003), and father's education was correlated with high cholesterol (r=.32, P<.005). Subjective and objective indices of SES were also correlated with each other (r=.24, P<.04). These data reiterate that the link between SES and health is obvious from an early age, regardless of the measures used to assess SES. Given the complexity of assessing SES in developing countries, objective subjective indices should be used in assessing SES.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S2-235-S2-237
JournalEthnicity and Disease
Issue number2 SUPPL. 2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2008



  • Caste
  • Class
  • India
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Socioeconomic status (SES)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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