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Table 1 Potential mechanisms underlying socioeconomic inequalities in all-cause mortality

From: Socioeconomic inequality and mortality - a regional Danish cohort study

Behavioural mechanisms Psychological mechanisms
Differences in socioeconomic strata in terms of health-related behaviours and lifestyles, including smoking habits, alcohol consumption, exercise and dietary patterns as well as morbid obesity [8,15]. Disparities in personality profile and psychological resources, such as cognitive ability, knowledge, cooping abilities, attitude, a sense of control and perceived social standing. The personality profile is believed to be a determining factor for the socioeconomic position, as educational and occupational achievements are dependent on personal talent and effort [8]. Furthermore, psychological stress is hypothesized to increase the risk of premature mortality by producing disruptions in the neuroendocrine system [8,15].
Material mechanisms Social mechanisms
Unequal distribution of material resources such as income, but also what income enables i.e., being able to afford healthy food, access to goods and services, favourable living and housing conditions, employment status, service provision such as schools and transport and welfare to population health [8,15]. Stratified difference in social resources such as social relationships, social support, interpersonal trust, norms of reciprocity and mutual aid, power and prestige [8,15].