ABSTRACT The association between self-rated health and mortality has been well documented, but not completely understood. The purpose of this study was to search for the components of self-rated health among the elderly, drawing on the framework recently proposed by Jylhä (2009) and the degree to which these predict survival. 535 seniors were interviewed, of whom 121 passed away during the seven years that followed. Self-rated health was significantly related to a variety of health and social indicators, which appeared to be represented by five health and three social characteristics: chronic conditions, physical functioning, the ability to perform daily activity, mental health, body pain, economic state, expected future health, and peers’ health. Contrary to Jylhä’s (2009) suggestion, formal signs of illness and diagnosed life threatening conditions were not related to self-rated health. Self-rated health was related to mortality along with age, sex, physical and cognitive functioning, and systolic blood pressure. Only physical functioning predicted both mortality and self-rated health. It appears that self-rated health is comprised of health information that is not directly related to mortality.
Cite this paper
nullAnson, O. , Shteingrad, J. & Paran, E. (2011). Self-Rated Health and Survival: A Seven-Years Follow-Up. Psychology, 2, 987-991. doi: 10.4236/psych.2011.29148.
 Anson, J., & Anson, O. (2000) Thank god it’s Friday: The weekly cycle of mortality in Israel. Population Research & Policy Review, 19, 143-154. doi:10.1023/A:1006483623664
 Anson, J., & Anson, O. (2001) Death rests for a while: Holy-day and Sabbath effects on Jewish mortality in Israel. Social Science & Medicine, 52, 83-97. doi:10.1016/S0277-9536(00)00125-8
 Bailis, D. S., Segall, A., & Chipperfield, J. G. (2003) Two views on self-rated general health status. Social Science & Medicine, 56, 203-217. doi:10.1016/S0277-9536(02)00020-5
 Bath, P. A. (2003). Differences between men and women in the self- rated health—M ortality relationships. The Gerontologist, 43, 387- 395. doi:10.1093/geront/43.3.387
 Benjamins, M. R., Hummer, R. A., Eberstein, I. M., & Nam, C. B. (2004) Self-reported health and mortality risk. An analysis of cause-specific mortality. Social Science & Medicine, 59, 1297-1306.
 Benyamini, Y., Blumstein, T., Lusky, A., & Modan, B. (2003). Gender differences in the self-rated health—Mortality differences. Is it poor self-rated health that predicts mortality or excellent self-rated health that predicts survival. The Gerontologist, 43, 396-405.
 Benyamini, Y., & Idler, E. L. (1999). Community studies reporting association between self-rated health and mortality: Additional studies 1995-1998. Research on Aging, 21, 392-401.
 Berkman, L. F., & Syme, S. L. (1979) Social networks, host resistance and mortality. A nine-year follow-up study. American Journal of Epidemiology, 109, 186-204.
 Boyle, P. A., Barnes, L. L., Buchman, A. S., & Bennett, D. A. (2009). Purpose in life is associated with mortality among community-dwelling old persons. Psychosomatic Medicine, 71, 574-579.
 Cambois, E., Robine, J. M., & Brouard, N. (1999) Life-expectancies applied to specific statuses. Population, 11, 7-34.
 Deeg, D. J. H., & Kriegsman, D. M. W. (2003). Concepts of self-rated health: Specifyingthe gender difference in mortality risk. Gerontologist, 43, 376-386. doi:10.1093/geront/43.3.376
 Dowd, J. B., & Zajacova, A. (2007). Does the predictive power of self-rated health forsubsequent mortality risk vary by socioeconomic status in the US? International Journal of Epidemiology, 36, 1214- 1221. doi:10.1093/ije/dym214
 Farkas, J., Nabb, S., Zaletel-Krageli, L., Cleland, J. G., & Lainscak, M. (2009). Self-rated health and mortality in patients with chronic heart failure. European Journal of Heart Failure, 11, 518-524.
 Folstein, M. F., Folstein, S. E., & McHugh, P. R. (1975). Mini-Mental State: A practical method for grading the cognitive state of patients for the clinician. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 12, 189-98.
 Folstein, M. F., Antony, J. C., Parhad, I. et al. (1985). The meaning of cognitive impairment in the elderly. Journal of the American Geriatric Society, 33, 228-35.
 Franks, P., Gold, M. R., & Fiscella, K. (2003). Sociodemographics, self-rated health, and mortality in the U.S. Social Science & Medicine, 56, 2505-2014. doi:10.1016/S0277-9536(02)00281-2
 Grémy, F., & Cambois, E. (2000) Life expectancy in health: Major indicators of health in a population. Bulletin de l’Academie Nationale de Médecine, 184, 621-632.
 Huisman, M., & Deeg, D. J. (2010). A commentary on Marija Jylh?’s “What is self-rated health and why does it predict mortality? Toward a unified conceptual model.” Social Science & Medicine, 70, 652- 654. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2009.11.003
 Huisman, M., Van Lenthe, F., & Mackenbach, J. (2007). The predictive ability of selfassessed health for mortality in different educational groups. International. Journal of Epidemiology, 36, 1207-1213.
 Idler, E., & Benyamini, Y. (1997). Self-rated health and mortality: A review of twenty-seven community studies. Journal of Health and Social Behaviour, 38, 21-37. doi:10.2307/2955359
 Jylh?, M., Volpato, S., & Guralnik, J. M. (2006) Self-rated health showed a graded association with frequently used biomarkers in a large population sample. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 59, 465- 471. doi:10.1016/j.jclinepi.2005.12.004
 Jylh?, M. (2009). What is self-rated health and why does it predict mortality? Toward a unified conceptual model. Social Science & Medicine, 69, 307-316. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2009.05.013
 Murata, C., Kondo, T., Tamakosh, K., Yastuya, H., & Toyoshima, H. (2006). Determinants of self-rated health: Could health status explain the association between self-rated health and mortality? Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 43, 369-380.
 McHorney, C. A., Ware, J. E. Jr., & Raczek, A. E. (1993) The MOS 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36): II. Psychometric and clinical tests of validity in measuring physical and mental health constructs. Medical Care, 31, 247-63.
 Mossey, J. M., & Shapiro, E. (1982) Self-rated health: A predictor of mortality among the elderly. American Journal of Public Health, 72, 800-808. doi:10.2105/AJPH.72.8.800
 Nunley, B. L., Hall, L. A., & Rowles, G. D. (2000) Effects of the quality of dyadic relationships on the psychological well-being of elderly care-recipients. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 26, 23-31.
 Redigor, E., Guallar-Castillón, P., Gutiérez-Fisac, J. L., Banegas, J. R., & Rodrigues-Artalejo, F. (2010). Socioeconomic variation in the magnitude of the association between self-rated health and mortality. Annals of Epidemiology, 20, 395-400.
 Thong, M. S., Kaptein, A. A., Benyamini, Y., Krediet, R. T., Boeschoten, E. W., & Dekker, F. W. (2008) Association between a self-rated health question and mortality in young and old dialysis patients: A cohort study. American Journal of Kidney Disease, 52, 1112-117.
 Sillèn, U., Nilsson, J. A., M?nsson, N. O., & Nilsson, P. M. (2005) Self-rated health in relation to age and gender: Influence on mortality risk in the Malm? Preventive Project. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 33, 183-189.