Reviews Book

Status Syndrome: How Your Social Standing Directly Affects Your Health and Life Expectancy

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.329.7462.408 (Published 12 August 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:408
  1. Roberto De Vogli (roberto.devogli@arsanita.toscana.it), consultant
  1. social epidemiology unit, Regional Health Agency of Tuscany, Italy

    In affluent nations, an individual's position in the social hierarchy is increasingly recognised as one of the major determinants of health. People who are lower in the hierarchy tend to have worse health and shorter life expectancy. Michael Marmot argues that low social standing is seen not only as a condition of material deprivation but also as an indicator of people's capability to control life and fully participate in society (psychosocial disadvantage). As a person's position in the social hierarchy decreases, the less likely he or she is to have full control over life and opportunities for full participation in society.


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