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Self-rated Health and Associated Factors Among the Oldest-Old: Results From a Cross-Sectional Study in Sweden


Self-rated Health and Associated Factors Among the Oldest-Old: Results From a Cross-Sectional Study in Sweden

Bo Simonsson et al. Arch Public Health.


Background: Very few population-based studies have investigated self-rated health and related factors in the increasing age group 85 years or older. The aim of this study was to examine self-rated health and its association with living conditions, lifestyle factors, physical and mental health problems and functional ability among the oldest-old in the general population in Sweden.

Methods: The study is cross-sectional and based on 1360 persons, 85 years of age or older, who answered a survey questionnaire sent to a random population sample in 2012 (participation rate 47%). Multivariate logistic regression was used as the statistical method.

Results: The prevalence of good self-rated health was 39% in men and 30% in women. Physical inactivity, impaired physical mobility, pain, anxiety/depression and longstanding illness were independently associated with poorer than good self-rated health, while factors such as gender, age, educational level, cash margin, living alone, social support, smoking, alcohol use, obesity, accidents and impaired vision/hearing were not.

Conclusions: While a considerable part of the oldest-old assess their health as good, not being physically active and having common health problems such as pain and depression as well as impaired physical mobility are associated with poorer than good self-rated health. This should be considered when planning how to improve and maintain health in the growing population of persons 85 years and older.

Keywords: Health behaviour; Oldest-old; Population studies; Self-rated health; Social factors.

Conflict of interest statement

Competing interestsThe authors declare that they have no competing interests.


Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Distribution of self-rated health (%) among women and men aged 85 years and older (N = 1360)

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