Self-rated health in centenarians: a nation-wide cross-sectional Greek study

Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2012 May-Jun;54(3):e342-8. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2012.01.012. Epub 2012 Feb 22.


Self-rated health (SRH) is an inclusive measure of public health that is correlated with quality of life and subsequent mortality. Extensive literature has identified multiple determinants of SRH in different populations. However, such studies on centenarians are scarce and parsimonious. Our objective is to identify SRH determinants in centenarians. This is a nationwide cross-sectional study on 400 Greek centenarians that was carried out between 2007 and 2010. SRH was evaluated by a simple question with a 5-point scale. Three categories of SRH were formed (very good/good/poor), which served as the dependent variable in multinomial regression models. Various sociodemographic, disease-related, lifestyle and psychosocial variables were assessed as candidate determinants of SRH. According to our results, SRH ratings among centenarians were better than that expected according to previous studies showing worse SRH ratings with increasing age in Greece. The 22.4% of the variance in SRH among centenarians was predicted by gender, habitat region and status, financial problems, disease presence and autonomy. Among lifestyle and psychosocial variables, obesity, good relationships with children, lack of feelings of loneliness, high optimism, adaptability and an internal health locus of control profile were independently associated with good SRH. These results indicate that SRH in individuals of extreme longevity were related to specific personal psychosocial factors that contribute to healthy aging and thus support the biopsychosocial model of health promotion.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Greece / epidemiology
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Loneliness / psychology
  • Male
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Self Report*
  • Social Class