West P, Vessey M, McPherson K & Hunt K (1990) Social class and health in youth: Findings from the west of Scotland twenty-07 study. Social Science and Medicine, 30 (6), pp. 665-673. https://doi.org/10.1016/0277-9536%2888%2990252-3
The assumption that social class inequalities in health are a persistent feature of the life-course has been questioned in a recent issue of this journal. On the evidence of mortality and chronic illness, the pattern in youth in Britain appears to be characterised by the lack of class differentials, a striking contrast to early adulthood where the familiar picture of health inequalities is observed. The possibility that this finding of relative equality in youth is a consequence of the limited, and potentially inappropriate, health indicators used has now been tested on a cohort of 15-year-olds in the West of Scotland. On a range of indicators, from subjective assessments to objective physical measures, very little evidence of class variation in health is found. The possible transience of the youth pattern is, however, indicated by findings from a cohort of 35-year-olds in the same study, among whom marked class gradients in health are apparent. Possible explanations for the transformation of a pattern of relative class equality in youth into one of inequalities in adulthood are discussed. © 1990.
Social Science and Medicine: Volume 30, Issue 6