Journal of Community Health

, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 76–80 | Cite as

The Association of Lifetime Education with the Prevalence of Myocardial Infarction: An Analysis of the 2006 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

  • Michael J. Kelly
  • Sherry Weitzen


Socioeconomic status is likely an independent risk factor for coronary heart disease but little research has been done in the United States to study this association in a nationally representative sample. We sought to determine the association between lifetime education and the prevalence of myocardial infarction (MI) among adults over the age of 39 in the US. A cross sectional study was conducted using the 2006 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). A multivariable logistic regression was performed. The analysis was conducted in 2008. Among respondents aged 40 years and older to the 2006 BRFSS survey those with less than a high school education had 3.09 (95% CI: 2.79–3.43) times the odds of having had an MI compared to college graduates. After adjusting for confounders, respondents with less than a high school education had 1.61 (95% CI: 1.41–1.83) times the odds of having had an MI compared to college graduates. Both those with a high school education and those who completed some college or technical school had 1.22 times the odds of having had an MI compared to college graduates after adjusting for confounders. This study suggests that education is a risk factor for MI. More national prospective studies are needed in the US to better understand the link between socioeconomic status and coronary heart disease.


Myocardial infarction Education Socioeconomic status Coronary heart disease 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PediatricsThe Floating Hospital for Children, Tufts Medical CenterBostonUSA
  2. 2.Division of Biology and Medicine, Department of Community HealthProvidenceUSA

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