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Int J Epidemiol. 2000 Feb;29(1):149-57.

Dichotomous or categorical response? Analysing self-rated health and lifetime social class.

Author information

  • 1School of Public Health and Community Medicine, The Hebrew University and Hadassah, Jerusalem, Israel. om@cc.huji.ac.il

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Self-rated health is a commonly used measure of health status, usually having three to five categories. The measure is often collapsed into a dichotomous variable of good versus less than good health. This categorization has not yet been justified.

METHODS:

Using data from the 1958 British birth cohort, we examined the relationship between socioeconomic conditions, indicated by occupational class at four ages, and self-rated health. Results obtained for a dichotomous variable using logistic regression were compared with alternative methods for ordered categorical variables including polytomous regression, cumulative odds, continuation ratio and adjacent categories models.

RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS:

Findings concerning the relationship between socioeconomic position and self-rated health yielded by a logistic regression model were confirmed by alternative statistical methods which incorporate the ordered nature of self-rated health. Similarity of results was found regarding size and significance of main effects, type of association and interactive effects.

PMID:
10750617
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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