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The authors' reply:
  1. A Steptoe1,
  2. J Halcox2
  1. 1
    University College London, London, UK
  2. 2
    Wales Heart Research Institute, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK
  1. Professor Andrew Steptoe, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, 1-19 Torrington Place, London WC1E 6BT, UK; a.steptoe{at}

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We thank Drs Mieczkowska and Mosiewicz for their interest in our research on socioeconomic status (SES), pathogen burden and cardiovascular disease risk. They rightly highlight the strong social gradient in cardiovascular disease that is present in many European countries and is increasingly apparent worldwide.1 Our study used employment grade as the indicator of SES, and it is interesting that similar patterns emerge in Poland with level of education as the marker of social position. …

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  • Competing interests: None declared.

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