EPIC working groups

The Socio-Economical Factors and Health Working Group

Differences by socioeconomic position (SEP) have been consistently reported for several health outcomes, including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and mortality. SEP is a general term used to refer to the different positions in the social and economic class of an individual. Different measures have been employed in epidemiological research to assess SEP. In the EPIC study educational level was generally used as the social position indicator, both in studies where SEP was the main exposure and in studies where SEP was used as a confounding variable. However, different measurements of SEP are possible from the baseline EPIC database; such as job position, social trajectories father/son, anthropometric measures (such as height, length of legs, etc.).


An important aim of the EPIC SEP Working Group is therefore to evaluate the possibility to use different SEP measures in the EPIC study and to evaluate their association with health outcomes. This may better clarify the mechanisms through which SEP has an effect on cancer and other chronic diseases, helping us to understand which of the two main pathways is more relevant case by case: (a) the action of SEP on the risk factors or (b) the action of SEP through a different modulation of the global physiological deregulation across the life-course. Another aim is to support the EPIC network with standard operating procedures to analyze SEP data both as main exposure and as confounders in a model.


Contact details/Working Group leader

Carlotta Sacerdote, PhD
AOU Città della Salute e della
Scienza di Torino and
CPO-Piemonte,
Turin, Italy