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General subjective health status or age-related subjective health status: does it make a difference?

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  • Baron-Epel, Orna
  • Kaplan, Giora
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    Abstract

    This study examines the agreement between two subjective health measures, a general question on subjective health and an age-related question on subjective health. The study identifies specific groups differing in their answer to the two questions. These measures are used frequently in health-related studies where a short measure is needed to estimate health. Therefore, it is important to understand how the population estimates its health. The study based on 793 telephone interviews shows that among respondents aged 65-75 with no reported diseases and those with less than 12 years of education with no reported diseases, the agreement between the two questions was poor. These two groups reported better health when they were asked to compare their health to people of their age and sex. Excellent agreement between the two questions was reported in those aged 55-64 with no diseases. The respondents having more years of education reported better health than the less educated but only when using the age-related subjective health measure. These findings demand caution when using different wordings in questions on subjective health in non-homogeneous populations.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 53 (2001)
    Issue (Month): 10 (November)
    Pages: 1373-1381

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:53:y:2001:i:10:p:1373-1381

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    Related research

    Keywords: Subjective health Education Age Elderly Israel;

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    Cited by:
    1. Jusot, Florence & Sermet, Catherine & Devaux, Marion & Tubeuf, Sandy, 2008. "Social heterogeneity in self-reported health status and measurement of inequalities in health," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/7004, Paris Dauphine University.
    2. Sharifah Haron & Deanna Sharpe & Jariah Masud & Mohamed Abdel-Ghany, 2010. "Health Divide: Economic and Demographic Factors Associated with Self-Reported Health Among Older Malaysians," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 328-337, September.
    3. Sermet, Catherine & Tubeuf, Sandy & Devaux, Marion & Jusot, Florence, 2008. "Hétérogénéité sociale de déclaration de l’état de santé et mesure des inégalités de santé," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/423, Paris Dauphine University.
    4. Neil J. Buckley & Frank T. Denton & A. Leslie Robb & Byron G. Spencer, 2006. "Socio-economic Influences on the Health of Older Canadians: Estimates Based on Two Longitudinal Surveys," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 32(1), pages 59-84, March.
    5. Joan Gil & Toni Mora, 2009. "The Determinants of Misreporting Weight and Height: The Role of Social Norms," Working Papers 2009-01, FEDEA.
    6. Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2009. "Ill-health as a household norm: Evidence from other people's health problems," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 251-259, January.
    7. Pieniak, Zuzanna & Verbeke, Wim & Olsen, Svein Ottar & Hansen, Karina Birch & Brunsø, Karen, 2010. "Health-related attitudes as a basis for segmenting European fish consumers," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 448-455, October.
    8. Aline Désesquelles, 2012. "Self-Rated Health of French prison inmates : measurement and comparison with other health indicators," Working Papers 178, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED).

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