Background: While women’s parity status and education level have independent associations with cardiovascular and other diseases, no studies have evaluated the additive interaction of these two factors. Therefore, we examined the additive interaction between parity and education level on mortality from stroke, coronary heart disease, total cardiovascular disease, cancer, non-cardiovascular disease, and non-cancer causes, and all causes in Japanese women. Methods: This study followed 41,242 women aged 40–79 years without a history of cardiovascular disease or cancer from 1988 to 1990 until 2009. Baseline parity and education level were classified into four categories, with highly educated parous women as the reference group. Cox proportional hazards regression analyses were performed to calculate the risk of mortality. We also assessed the additive interactions between parity and education level on mortality from cardiovascular disease and other causes using the relative excess risk due to interaction obtained using Cox models. Results: During the median follow-up period of 19.1 years, we identified 6299 deaths. In a multivariable model adjusted for cardiovascular disease and other disease risk factors, nulliparous women with low education levels had increased multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios of 1.67 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.13, 2.47) for stroke, 1.98 (95% CI 1.15, 3.39) for coronary heart disease, 1.71 (95% CI 1.34,2.18) for total cardiovascular disease, 1.69 (95% CI 1.33, 2.14) for non-cardiovascular and non-cancer, and 1.51 (95% CI 1.30, 1.75) for all-cause mortality when compared with highly educated parous women. Moreover, we observed significant additive interactions between parity and education level on total cardiovascular disease mortality (P = 0.04), non-cardiovascular disease and non-cancer mortality (P = 0.01), and all-cause mortality (P = 0.005). Conclusions: Nulliparity and low education levels are super-additively associated with total cardiovascular disease, non-cardiovascular and non-cancer, and all-cause mortality risks, suggesting that nulliparous women with low education levels need specific support for preventing mortality related to cardiovascular and other diseases.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Reproductive Medicine
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology