Determinants of self-rated health in Spain: differences by age groups for adults

Eur J Public Health. 2012 Feb;22(1):36-40. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/ckq133. Epub 2010 Oct 5.


Background: Identifying factors associated with self-rated health (SRH) in two age groups (16-49 and ≥ 50 years) in the context of action for health promotion in adults.

Methods: The data used came from the household and adults questionnaires of the National Health Survey of Spain for 2006. SRH was categorized as positive (very positive or positive) and negative (fair, poor or very poor). Odds ratios for positive SRH compared with negative SRH were calculated using logistic regression models for complex samples. The determinants of the positive SRH were obtained for the total population and for two age groups.

Results: Among the population aged ≥ 16 years, 66.6% reports positive SRH, 78.6% in the 16- to 49-year-old group and 47.7% in the ≥ 50-year-old group. SRH worsens with age until the age of 49, whereas 50 years onwards older report better health than the younger. The influence of lifestyle on the SRH varies by age group among adults as well: in the younger age groups, obesity, smoking and non-alcohol are associated with poor SRH; in contrast, physical exercise only in leisure time and enough sleeping hours are associated with positive SRH in the ≥ 50-year-old population.

Conclusions: The factors associated with SRH differ across age groups, particularly for lifestyle. Understanding the differences between the factors associated with the positive SRH is highly relevant for the design of specific programmes aimed at improving public health.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Female
  • Health Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Self Report*
  • Social Class
  • Spain
  • Young Adult