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J Health Soc Behav. 1997 Mar;38(1):21-37.

Self-rated health and mortality: a review of twenty-seven community studies.

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Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research, Rutgers, State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick 08903, USA.


We examine the growing number of studies of survey respondents' global self-ratings of health as predictors of mortality in longitudinal studies of representative community samples. Twenty-seven studies in U.S. and international journals show impressively consistent findings. Global self-rated health is an independent predictor of mortality in nearly all of the studies, despite the inclusion of numerous specific health status indicators and other relevant covariates known to predict mortality. We summarize and review these studies, consider various interpretations which could account for the association, and suggest several approaches to the next stage of research in this field.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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