Self-rated health among Hispanic vs non-Hispanic white adults: the San Luis Valley Health and Aging Study

Am J Public Health. 1996 Dec;86(12):1798-801. doi: 10.2105/ajph.86.12.1798.


Objectives: This study investigated whether objective health indicators explained lower self-rated health among Hispanics compared with non-Hispanic Whites. It also considered socioeconomic and cultural explanations.

Methods: Health ratings of 429 Hispanics and 583 non-Hispanic Whites aged 20 through 74 were analyzed with logistic regression.

Results: Illness indicators were found to be strongly correlated with self-rated health in both ethnic groups, but after such markers were controlled for, Hispanics remained 3.6 times more likely to report fair or poor health (95% confidence interval = 2.4, 5.3). Adjustment for socioeconomic factors accounted for a portion of Hispanics' lower health rating, but the strongest explanatory factor was acculturation.

Conclusions: Because of cultural and economic influences on definitions of health, ethnic differences in self-assessed health may not accurately reflected patterns resulting from objective health measurements.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • White People / statistics & numerical data*