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      The relationship between self-rated health and objective health status: a population-based study

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          Abstract

          Background

          Self-rated health (SRH), a subjective assessment of health status, is extensively used in the public health field. However, whether SRH can reflect the objective health status is still debatable. We aim to reveal the relationship between SRH and objective health status in the general population.

          Methods

          We assessed the relationship between SRH and objective health status by examining the prevalence of diseases, laboratory parameters, and some health-related factors in different SRH groups. Data were collected from 18,000 residents randomly sampled from the general population in five cities of China (3,600 in each city). SRH was assessed by a single-item health measure with five options: “very good,” “good,” “fair,” “bad,” and “very bad.” The differences in prevalence of diseases, laboratory parameters, and health-related factors between the “healthy” (very good plus good), “relatively healthy” (fair), and “unhealthy” (bad plus very bad) groups were examined. The odds ratios (ORs) referenced by the healthy group were calculated using logistic regression analysis.

          Results

          The prevalence of all diseases was associated with poorer SRH. The tendency was more prominent in cardio-cerebral vascular diseases, visual impairment, and mental illnesses with larger ORs. Residents with abnormalities in laboratory parameters tended to have poorer SRH, with ORs ranging from 1.62 (for triglyceride) to 3.48 (for hemoglobin among men) in a comparison of the unhealthy and healthy groups. Most of the health-related factors regarded as risks were associated with poorer SRH. Among them, life and work pressure, poor spiritual status, and poor quality of interpersonal relationships were the most significant factors.

          Conclusions

          SRH is consistent with objective health status and can serve as a global measure of health status in the general population.

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          Most cited references 45

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          Appropriate body-mass index for Asian populations and its implications for policy and intervention strategies.

           Michael Gnant (2004)
          A WHO expert consultation addressed the debate about interpretation of recommended body-mass index (BMI) cut-off points for determining overweight and obesity in Asian populations, and considered whether population-specific cut-off points for BMI are necessary. They reviewed scientific evidence that suggests that Asian populations have different associations between BMI, percentage of body fat, and health risks than do European populations. The consultation concluded that the proportion of Asian people with a high risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease is substantial at BMIs lower than the existing WHO cut-off point for overweight (> or =25 kg/m2). However, available data do not necessarily indicate a clear BMI cut-off point for all Asians for overweight or obesity. The cut-off point for observed risk varies from 22 kg/m2 to 25 kg/m2 in different Asian populations; for high risk it varies from 26 kg/m2 to 31 kg/m2. No attempt was made, therefore, to redefine cut-off points for each population separately. The consultation also agreed that the WHO BMI cut-off points should be retained as international classifications. The consultation identified further potential public health action points (23.0, 27.5, 32.5, and 37.5 kg/m2) along the continuum of BMI, and proposed methods by which countries could make decisions about the definitions of increased risk for their population.
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            Major causes of death among men and women in China.

            With China's rapid economic development, the disease burden may have changed in the country. We studied the major causes of death and modifiable risk factors in a nationally representative cohort of 169,871 men and women 40 years of age and older in China. Baseline data on the participants' demographic characteristics, medical history, lifestyle-related risk factors, blood pressure, and body weight were obtained in 1991 with the use of a standard protocol. The follow-up evaluation was conducted in 1999 and 2000, with a follow-up rate of 93.4 percent. We documented 20,033 deaths in 1,239,191 person-years of follow-up. The mortality from all causes was 1480.1 per 100,000 person-years among men and 1190.2 per 100,000 person-years among women. The five leading causes of death were malignant neoplasms (mortality, 374.1 per 100,000 person-years), diseases of the heart (319.1), cerebrovascular disease (310.5), accidents (54.0), and infectious diseases (50.5) among men and diseases of the heart (268.5), cerebrovascular disease (242.3), malignant neoplasms (214.1), pneumonia and influenza (45.9), and infectious diseases (35.3) among women. The multivariate-adjusted relative risk of death and the population attributable risk for preventable risk factors were as follows: hypertension, 1.48 (95 percent confidence interval, 1.44 to 1.53) and 11.7 percent, respectively; cigarette smoking, 1.23 (95 percent confidence interval, 1.18 to 1.27) and 7.9 percent; physical inactivity, 1.20 (95 percent confidence interval, 1.16 to 1.24) and 6.8 percent; and underweight (body-mass index [the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters] below 18.5), 1.47 (95 percent confidence interval, 1.42 to 1.53) and 5.2 percent. Vascular disease and cancer have become the leading causes of death among Chinese adults. Our findings suggest that control of hypertension, smoking cessation, increased physical activity, and improved nutrition should be important strategies for reducing the burden of premature death among adults in China. Copyright 2005 Massachusetts Medical Society.
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              Self-rated health and mortality in the NHANES-I Epidemiologic Follow-up Study.

               E. L. Idler,  R. Angel (1990)
              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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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                BMC Public Health
                BMC Public Health
                BMC Public Health
                BioMed Central
                1471-2458
                2013
                9 April 2013
                : 13
                : 320
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Health Statistics, Second Military Medical University, No.800 of XiangYin Road, Shanghai, 200433, China
                Article
                1471-2458-13-320
                10.1186/1471-2458-13-320
                3637052
                23570559
                Copyright © 2013 Wu et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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                Research Article

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