Sense of coherence (SOC) is important for maintaining health. The aim of this study was to investigate if the SOC experience among home-dwelling physically active older people differs from that of hospital patients with the same age and sex. Data were collected with questionnaires and structured interviews containing Antonovsky's SOC scale in an age- and sex-matched study group (n=160). Non-parametric statistical analyses were performed. No differences were found in SOC between home-dwelling individuals and patients. Ninety-five percent of the home-dwelling individuals perceived themselves as being in good health and 42.5% among the patients (p<0.001). SOC and disease were predictors for health in the total study group. Among the home-dwelling individuals, SOC, disease and being single were predictors for health and among the patients solely SOC. When using the components of the SOC concept, comprehensibility and disease predicted health for the home-dwelling individuals and meaningfulness predicted health for the patients.