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Measurement of Socioeconomic Position in Research on Cardiovascular Health Disparities in Korea: A Systematic Review

Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health 2019년 52권 5호 p.281 ~ 291
 ( Lee Chi-Young ) - Duke University School of Nursing

 ( Lee Yong-Hwan ) - Seoul National University Department of Economics


Objectives: The validity of instruments measuring socioeconomic position (SEP) has been a major area of concern in research on cardiovascular health disparities. The purpose of this systematic review is to identify the current status of the methods used to measure SEP in research on cardiovascular health disparities in Korea and to provide directions for future research.

Method: Relevant articles were obtained through electronic database searches with manual searches of reference lists and no restriction on the date of publication. SEP indicators were categorized into compositional, contextual, composite, and life-course measures.

Results: Forty-eight studies published from 2003 to 2018 satisfied the review criteria. Studies utilizing compositional measures mainly relied on a limited number of SEP parameters. In addition, these measures hardly addressed the time-varying and subjective features of SEP. Finding valid contextual measures at the organizational, community, and societal levels that are appropriate to Korea’s context remains a challenge, and these are rarely modeled simultaneously. Studies have rarely focused on composite and life-course measures.

Conclusions: Future studies should develop and utilize valid compositional and contextual measures and appraise social patterns that vary across time, place, and culture using such measures. Studies should also consider multilevel influences, adding a focus on the interactions between different levels of intertwined SEP factors to advance the design of research. More attention should be given to composite and life-course measures.


Cardiovascular diseases; Health status disparities; Socioeconomic factors; Korea
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