Self-Rated Health and Mortality: A Review of Twenty-Seven Community Studies

Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research, Rutgers, State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick 08903, USA.
Journal of Health and Social Behavior (Impact Factor: 2.72). 04/1997; 38(1):21-37. DOI: 10.2307/2955359
Source: PubMed


We examine the growing number of studies of survey respondents' global self-ratings of health as predictors of mortality in longitudinal studies of representative community samples. Twenty-seven studies in U.S. and international journals show impressively consistent findings. Global self-rated health is an independent predictor of mortality in nearly all of the studies, despite the inclusion of numerous specific health status indicators and other relevant covariates known to predict mortality. We summarize and review these studies, consider various interpretations which could account for the association, and suggest several approaches to the next stage of research in this field.

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    • "CopyrightIdler & Benyamini, 1997oss att det är kvinnligt att vara omhändertagande och samarbetsvillig, och manligt att vara fysiskt stark och tävlingsinriktad. Även aktiviteter är ofta könsmärkta där att sy förknippas med att vara kvinna och att laga bilar förknippas med att vara man. "
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    • "Marital status, health-risk behaviours and health-related variables were obtained from the surveys . We measured smoking, high alcohol consumption (Rimm et al. 1999), insufficient physical activity (Kujala et al. 1998), body mass index, self-rated health (Idler & Benyamini, 1997), insomnia symptoms (Jenkins et al. 1988), usual sleep duration and psychological distress (Goldberg & Williams, 1988). Purchases of anxiolytics and sedatives (N05B) and hypnotics (N05C) were included in further sensitivity analysis. "
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    • "Self-rated health was assessed using a single item, " How would you rate your health at the present time? " , answered using a 1 = bad to 5 = very good Likert scale that has been widely used in the social and behavioral sciences (for overview, seeIdler & Benyamini, 1997). Number of household dependents was quantified as number of children under the age of 16 living in the household. "
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