[How is self-rated health associated with mortality?]

Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2006 Oct 19;126(20):2644-7.
[Article in Norwegian]


Background: Self-rated health is frequently used as a health outcome variable in population studies. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between self-rated health and mortality in a Norwegian population.

Material and methods: We used data from the first "Nord-Trøndelag Health Study" in 1984-1986 (HUNT 1), where 76,793 persons aged 20 years and older participated (90.7 % of the total adult county population). Average follow-up time was 16.4 years (median 18.9 years). Mortality risks in different groups were estimated using Cox' regression analyses, adjusted for age, education and chronic disease.

Results: Compared to participants with very good self-rated health, men with poor self-rated health had a relative increased mortality risk (hazard ratio) of 2.37 (95 % CI 2,09-2,70) and women of 2.37 (95 % CI 2.05-2.76), when adjusted for age, education and chronic disease. Poor self-rated health gave a mortality risk of 2.99 (95 % CI 2.76-3.23), compared to self-reported myocardial infarction 2.02 (95 % CI 1.92-2.12) and diabetes 1.99 (95 % CI 1.90-2.09), adjusted for age and gender.

Interpretation: Adults who participate in health surveys and rate their health to be poor have a higher mortality as a group than those with a good self-rated health, even higher than those with self-reported cardiac infarction or diabetes. Our findings strengthen the impression that self-rated health is a very important health indicator in population studies.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chronic Disease / epidemiology
  • Chronic Disease / mortality
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Status*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality*
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Concept*
  • Survival Analysis