A comparison of objective biomarkers with a subjective health status measure among children in the Philippines

Asia Pac J Public Health. 2012 Jul;24(4):565-76. doi: 10.1177/1010539510390204. Epub 2010 Dec 15.


Large health surveys use subjective (self-reported) and objective (biomarkers) measures to assess heath status. However, the linkage or disparity of these measures has not been systematically studied in developing countries.

Method: Using data from the Philippine Quality Improvement Demonstration Study, QIDS, this study evaluated the associations between General Self-Reported Health Status (GSRH) and height, weight, hemoglobin, red blood cell folate, C-reactive protein, and blood lead levels. The authors modeled each biomarker as a function of GSRH controlling for socioeconomic status and selection effects. Changes in biomarkers and GSRH in children who had previously been hospitalized were also examined.

Results: GSRH independently predicted hemoglobin, C-reactive protein, stunting, and wasting. GSRH did not vary significantly with folate deficiency and blood lead levels.

Conclusions: In addition to being a measure of overall child health status, GSRH may be a useful and inexpensive screening tool for identifying children that need further health testing.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / analysis*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Body Height
  • Body Weight
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Folic Acid / blood
  • Health Status*
  • Health Surveys
  • Hemoglobins / analysis
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Lead / blood
  • Philippines
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Self Report*


  • Biomarkers
  • Hemoglobins
  • Lead
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Folic Acid