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Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2006 Oct 19;126(20):2644-7.

[How is self-rated health associated with mortality?].

[Article in Norwegian]

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Det medisinske fakultet, Norges teknisk-naturvitenskapelige universitet, Medisinsk teknisk forskningssenter, 7489 Trondheim, Norway.



Self-rated health is frequently used as a health outcome variable in population studies. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between self-rated health and mortality in a Norwegian population.


We used data from the first "Nord-Tr√łndelag Health Study" in 1984-1986 (HUNT 1), where 76,793 persons aged 20 years and older participated (90.7 % of the total adult county population). Average follow-up time was 16.4 years (median 18.9 years). Mortality risks in different groups were estimated using Cox' regression analyses, adjusted for age, education and chronic disease.


Compared to participants with very good self-rated health, men with poor self-rated health had a relative increased mortality risk (hazard ratio) of 2.37 (95 % CI 2,09-2,70) and women of 2.37 (95 % CI 2.05-2.76), when adjusted for age, education and chronic disease. Poor self-rated health gave a mortality risk of 2.99 (95 % CI 2.76-3.23), compared to self-reported myocardial infarction 2.02 (95 % CI 1.92-2.12) and diabetes 1.99 (95 % CI 1.90-2.09), adjusted for age and gender.


Adults who participate in health surveys and rate their health to be poor have a higher mortality as a group than those with a good self-rated health, even higher than those with self-reported cardiac infarction or diabetes. Our findings strengthen the impression that self-rated health is a very important health indicator in population studies.

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