The Impact of Multiple Dimensions of Socioeconomic Status on Physical Functioning Across the Life Course.
Objective: We used the Physical Performance Across the LifeSpan Study to investigate the relationships of multiple indicators of socioeconomic status (SES), both in early life and late life, with physical function. Method: We examined associations between multiple early and late life SES indicators with physical function measured by aerobic endurance, gait speed, and lower body strength. Results: Higher participant education and household income were associated with increased physical function. In our age-stratified analysis, we observed widening SES disparities with increasing age among those in the two younger strata with lower SES associated with worse physical function. Finally, we observed an association between socioeconomic trend and gait speed, aerobic endurance, and lower body strength. There was also an association between lower aerobic endurance and being in a downward socioeconomic trend. Discussion: These findings highlight the significance of considering multiple dimensions of the social environment as important correlates of physical functioning across the life course.