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Revista Española de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 2173-9110Print version ISSN 1135-5727


CABRERA DE LEON, Antonio  and  GRUPO CDC et al. Validation of the ICE Model to Assess Social Class in the Adult Population. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2009, vol.83, n.2, pp.231-242. ISSN 2173-9110.

Background: Social class has commonly been defined by the type of employment and it is assessed as a categorical variable. However, this approach has a number of drawbacks. The objective of this article is to develop and validate a readily standardizable quantitative indicator of social class and to show its ability to measure the impact of social class as a health determinant. Methods: In 6729 individuals we measured income, crowding index, education, occupation and employment status. Two models were adjusted to study the neighborhood, dietary pattern and health problems. Results: The model that included only income, crowding index and education (ICE) yielded an indicator that correlated with age (r = -0.28; p <0.001) and consumption of potatoes (r = -0.17; p <0.001) and salads (r = 0.10; p <0.001). This indicator estimated that poor social classes were at significant risk for unemployment (OR=5,), blue collar jobs (OR=40,9), residing in poor neighborhoods (OR = 30.2), low salad consumption (OR = 2.2) and high consumption of potatoes (OR = 4.5). They also had, especially in women, a higher risk of sedentarism (OR = 1.8), obesity (OR = 4.4), metabolic syndrome (OR = 3.4) and diabetes mellitus (OR = 2.0). Conclusions: The ICE index was valid, not based on occupation or employment status, readily standardizable, and suitable for measuring social class and its impact of on health.

Keywords : Social class; Poverty.

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