Objective: To study the self-perceived health status (PHS) of a community and its relationship to socio-economic variables of morbidity and frequency of attendance at the doctor's.
Design: A descriptive, crossover study.
Setting: A base Health District (HD).
Patients and other participants: The general catchment area for the Occidente HD, Córdoba (N = 12,801 inhabitants) provided a random sample (for a p = 0.5, alpha error = 0.05 and with precision - 5%) of individuals over 15 (N = 384).
Measurements and main results: By means of a survey with a personal interview at home, socio-demographic data, PHS, chronic morbidity, consumption of pharmaceuticals and attendance at the doctor's were gathered. 32.9% (C.I. 95%: 27.4-37.1) stated a negative PHS. It was confirmed that older age (O.R. = 1.6; C.I. 1.04 - 1.08) and the existence of an acknowledged chronic pathology (O.R. = 6.84); C.I. 2.0 - 23.33) were the variables most strongly associated to a negative PHS. Chronic pathologies which were most intensely related to an unfavorable PHS were: Bronchitis (O.R. = 8.08; C.I. 3.02 - 21.5), Diabetes Mellitus (O.R. = 6.35; C.I., 1.03 - 38.9), Arthrosis (O.R. = 3.53; C.I. 2.03 - 6.13), Depression (O.R. = 3.53; C.I. 1.79 - 6.96), Arterial Hypertension (O.R. = 3.52; C.I. 1.63 - 7.63) and peptic ulcer (O.R. = 2.05; C.I. 1.02 - 4.11).
Conclusions: The PHS could be useful as an overall indicator of the level of health of the population, as it is easy to obtain and has been shown to be linked to explanatory variables such as age and the presence of chronic disorders.