Self-rated health and mortality in Chinese institutional elderly persons

J Clin Epidemiol. 1997 Oct;50(10):1107-16. doi: 10.1016/s0895-4356(97)00153-4.


The relationship between self-rated health (SRH) and subsequent mortality was examined in a cohort of 411 Chinese elderly individuals living in institutions. SRH was assessed by a global health rating, by comparing health with others of the same age, and by perception of recent physical condition. Covariates including age, sex, daily activity function, instrumental daily activity function, cognitive function, self-reported visual acuity, urinary function, number of chronic conditions, number of medications, and history of falls were controlled by the Cox proportional hazard model. Elderly people who rated their global health as "fair or poor" had increased mortality compared to those in the "good" category (RR = 6.00; 95% CI 1.39-25.1) and a borderline significant increase in mortality risk for those who rated themselves in the "average" category (RR = 4.05; 95% CI 0.93-17.70). Elderly people who compared their health with others of the same age as "worse or worst" and "similar" had an RR of 2.75; 95% CI of 0.64-11.83 and RR of 2.40; 95% CI of 0.64-8.96, respectively. Elderly people who rated their physical symptoms as "moderate or severe" and "slight" had an RR of 2.54; 95% CI 0.65-9.80 and RR of 1.05; 95% CI 0.32-3.41, respectively. Age, institutional factors, and history of multiple falls were associated with an increased risk of mortality. We concluded that only the global health rating has direct predictive power for mortality in institutionalized elderly people.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Attitude to Health
  • China
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment*
  • Health Status*
  • Homes for the Aged*
  • Humans
  • Institutionalization*
  • Long-Term Care
  • Male
  • Mortality*
  • Nursing Homes
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Risk
  • Survival Analysis