Identification of health status dimensions in a working-age population. An exploratory study

Med Care. 1992 May;30(5):392-9. doi: 10.1097/00005650-199205000-00002.


With regard to health care there is a growing demand for comprehensive and reliable instruments of general health status measurement. In the Finnish Healthy Village Study, 427 men and 366 women of working age participated in a comprehensive health examination that included more than 120 physical, psychological, and social health status variables. On the basis of minimum correlation values, 37 health status variables were chosen for factor analytic study. Principal component factor analysis with varimax rotation identified six dimensions of health status: physical functioning, emotional state, perceived health, anthropometric state and blood pressure, social functioning, and biochemical state. These six factors accounted for 46% of the total variance of health status variables. Health profile analysis of both men and women revealed the same dimensions but in different order. Men ranked their self-rated general health more closely with their physical functioning, whereas women ranked it with perceived health. The identification of general health status dimensions has implications for planning health promotion programs and evaluating their outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect
  • Anthropometry
  • Blood Chemical Analysis / standards
  • Blood Pressure
  • Employment
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Finland
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Middle Aged
  • Physical Examination / standards*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*