Objective: Educational attainment is inversely associated with SBP level in young adulthood. This association has not been studied in an older cohort, and confounding and mediating factors are not well known. Methods: The authors hypothesized that higher education is associated with lower levels of SBP independent of many risk factors for hypertension. This prospective observational study included a sample of 764 older community-living participants in the Maintenance of Balance, Independent Living, Intellect and Zest in the Elderly (MOBILIZE) Boston Study. RESULTS: Compared to participants with more than college education, regression analyses showed those with a high school education or less had a SBP value 6.33mmHg higher [95% confidence interval (CI): 2.55-10.10], and those who had a college education had a SBP value 4.01mmHg higher (95% CI: 0.77-7.25) independent of many hypothesized confounders and mediators. Discussion: Results of a path analysis confirmed that higher level of education was associated with lower SBP even after adjustment for hypothesized mediators. Although slightly attenuated by multivariable adjustment for hypertension risk factors, the significant inverse association between educational attainment and SBP was not entirely mediated by these risk factors. These findings indicate that education is inversely associated with SBP in a diverse cohort of community-living older adults, independent of many known or suspected risk factors. Conclusion: This study is the first to report the association between education and SBP in an older sample, representing a population at the highest risk for hypertension-related morbidity and mortality.
- cardiovascular disease
- older adults
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine