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Self-Rated Health and Mortality: A Review of Twenty-Seven Community Studies

Ellen L. Idler and Yael Benyamini
Journal of Health and Social Behavior
Vol. 38, No. 1 (Mar., 1997), pp. 21-37
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2955359
Page Count: 17
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Self-Rated Health and Mortality: A Review of Twenty-Seven Community Studies
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Abstract

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.

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