Self-rated health and adverse health outcomes: An exploration and refinement of the trajectory hypothesis

Fredric D. Wolinsky, William M. Tierney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

55 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives. To examine the hypothesis that the relationship between poor self-rated health and adverse health outcomes simply reflects self- assessments of declining health trajectories rather than current health status. Methods. A 12-month follow-up of 786 disadvantaged adults aged 50-99 years old was conducted. Baseline markers of poor self-rated health and declining health trajectory were used to predict 12-month follow-up reports of the expectations of being hospitalized within one year, being placed in a nursing home within five years, and dying within ten years. Hierarchical multivariable logistic regression was used with poor self-rated health entered first, standard epidemiologic covariates entered next, and declining health trajectory entered last. Results. Poor self-rated health was not independently associated with expectations for being hospitalized, but declining health trajectory independently increased the risk of such expectations by 65-88%. Neither poor self-rated health nor declining health trajectory were independently associated with expectations for being placed in a nursing home, but both were independently associated with expectations for dying, increasing such expectations by 70-105%. Discussion. The relationship between poor self-rated health and adverse outcomes is not a simple reflection of unmeasured self-assessments of impending decline or doom. Rather, the effects of poor self-rated health and declining health trajectory appear to be independent and complementary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S336-S340
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Volume53
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Self-rated health and adverse health outcomes: An exploration and refinement of the trajectory hypothesis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this