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Am J Public Health. 1990 Apr;80(4):446-52.

Self-rated health and mortality in the NHANES-I Epidemiologic Follow-up Study.

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Department of Sociology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08903.


The ability of self-rated health status to predict mortality was tested with data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES-I) Epidemiologic Follow-Up Study (NHEFS), conducted from 1971-84. The sample consists of adult NHANES-I respondents ages 25-74 years (N = 6,440) for whom data from a comprehensive physical examination at the initial interview and survival status at follow-up are available. Self-rated health consists of the response to the single item, "Would you say your health in general is excellent, very good, good, fair, or poor?" Proportional hazards analyses indicated that, net of its association with medical diagnoses given in the physical examination, demographic factors, and health related behaviors, self-rated health at Time 1 is associated with mortality over the 12-year follow-up period among middle-aged males, but not among elderly males or females of any age.

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