Do age and social relations moderate the relationship between self-rated health and mortality among adult Danes?

Soc Sci Med. 2003 Oct;57(7):1237-47. doi: 10.1016/s0277-9536(02)00504-x.


It is well established that self-rated health (SRH) predicts mortality even after controlling for a wide range of factors. We explored the extent to which age and social relations (structural and functional) influenced the relationship between SRH and mortality (after 13 years follow-up) in a representative sample of adult Danes (N=6693). After controlling for socioeconomic status, illness, and lifestyle variables, we found that age moderated the SRH-mortality relationship such that it was present for respondents under 55 but absent for respondents over 56. In addition, weaker structural (but not functional) social relations increased mortality directly but neither structural nor functional social relations moderated the SRH-mortality relationship. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of these findings.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Forecasting
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality / trends*
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Self Concept*
  • Social Support*
  • Survival Analysis