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Eur J Ageing. 2011 Aug 17;8(4):281-289. doi: 10.1007/s10433-011-0198-0. eCollection 2011 Dec.

Self-rated health and mortality risk in relation to gender and education: a time-dependent covariate analysis.

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Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain.
Hospital Universitario La Paz, IdiPAZ, Madrid, Spain.
Département de Médecine Sociale et Préventive, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Canada.
Primary Care Madrid, Health Center Orcasitas, Madrid, Spain.


This study examines the relations between self-rated health (SRH) at baseline, SRH as a time-dependent covariate (TDC), and mortality by gender and education in a community-dwelling older population in Spain. The data used are from the longitudinal study "Aging in Leganes", launched in 1993, carried out in a community-dwelling representative sample (n = 1,560) of the older population of Leganes (Spain). Mortality was assessed in 2008. Proportional regression models were fitted to examine the association between mortality and baseline SRH, and SRH as a TDC among subjects aged 65-85 at baseline. The multivariate analyses were stratified by gender and education and adjusted for sociodemographic factors, smoking and physical activity, physical and mental morbidity, and ADL disability. SRH and SRH as a TDC were significant predictors of mortality in men and in people with some education, but not in women or in illiterate persons. SRH and declines in SRH were associated with increased mortality risk in older men and in those who can read and write in this Mediterranean population. Given current improvements in education and decreasing gender inequality, health professionals in Spain should pay attention to both current SRH and declines in SRH in their patients regardless of gender and literacy.


Cohort analysis; Mortality; Older persons; Self-rated health; Time-dependent covariate

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