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This study estimated the association of income and prevalence of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and hypertension, and then quantified the contribution of health behaviors to the association in China. Using the 2013 survey of the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS), a logit model was applied to examine income-related health disparities in relation to CVD and hypertension. A four-step regression method was then constructed to measure the role of health behaviors in income-related health disparities. Using indirect effects, mediation by health behaviors was examined. Income-related health disparities in chronic diseases were found to exist in China. Specifically, individuals in the high-income group had a 14% (OR = 0.86; 95% CI 0.73–1.02) and 14% (OR = 0.86; 95% CI 0.76–0.97) lower odds of suffering from CVD and hypertension than those in the low-income group. However, limited evidence shows this association was mediated by health behaviors. The Heaviness of Smoking Index (HSI), heavy drinking, irregular eating, and nap time did not significantly mediate the association of income and prevalence of CVD and hypertension. To curb the rising prevalence of CVD and hypertension in China, policies should focus on the low-income subpopulation. However, healthy behaviors interventions targeting smoking, heavy drinking, unhealthy napping and irregular eating habits among low-income people may be ineffective in reduction of income-related disparities in prevalence of CVD and hypertension.
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Shen, J. J.,
Limited Contribution of Health Behaviours to Expanding Income-Related Chronic Disease Disparities Based on a Nationwide Cross-Sectional Study in China.
Scientific Reports, 8(1),