Maternal subjective social standing is related to inflammation during pregnancy
AutorInnen: Scholaske, Laura; Buss, Claudia; Wadhwa, Pathik D.; Entringer, Sonja Publikationsjahr: 2020
Background: The association of socioeconomic status (SES) with health and disease risk is well established. Low-grade inflammation represents a key pathway believed to underlie this association. Previous research has suggested that subjective social standing (SSS) is more consistently associated with health outcomes than objective measures of SES such as income and education. Given the importance of maternal inflammatory state in a wide array of pregnancy, birth and fetal/child developmental and health outcomes, we examine here the independent association of maternal SSS relative to objective SES with pro-inflammatory state during pregnancy.
Methods: We conducted a longitudinal study of an ethnically diverse sample of 250 pregnant women with 3 study visits in early, mid and late gestation. We obtained objective measures of SES (income, education), and SSS with reference to the community and to the nation using the MacArthur Scale of Subjective Social Status. At each study visit, a composite maternal pro-inflammatory score was derived from circulating levels of inflammatory markers (IL-6, CRP, TNF-α).
Results: In hierarchical linear models, SSS but not objective SES was significantly and negatively associated with maternal inflammatory state. Moreover, the relationship between SSS and inflammatory state remained significant after accounting for objective SES. SSS with reference to the community was a stronger predictor of inflammatory state than SSS with reference to the nation.
Discussion: Our finding adds to the scientific literature on SSS and health, highlights the importance of including SSS measures in this context, and supports future research on the relative role and biological pathways by which SSS may impact pregnancy, birth and fetal/child development and health.
Keywords: Inflammation; Pregnancy; Socio-economic status (SES); Subjective social standing.doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2020.05.023