Self-Rated Health and Mortality: Moderation by Purpose in Life.

TitleSelf-Rated Health and Mortality: Moderation by Purpose in Life.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsFriedman, EM, Teas, E
JournalInt J Environ Res Public Health
ISSN Number1660-4601
Keywordsethnicity, Humans, Longevity, Longitudinal Studies, Mortality, Racial Groups, United States, White

Poor self-rated health consistently predicts reduced longevity, even when objective disease conditions and risk factors are considered. Purpose in life is also a reliable predictor of diverse health outcomes, including greater longevity. Given prior work in which we showed that purpose in life moderated the association between chronic conditions and health-related biological factors, the aim of the current study was to examine the role of purpose in life in moderating the relationship between subjective health and mortality. We also examined potential differences in these associations by race/ethnicity. Data were from two large national longitudinal studies-the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) study-with a 12- to 14-year follow-up period for mortality estimates. Results of logistic regression analyses showed that purpose in life and self-rated health were both significantly positively associated with longevity, and that purpose in life significantly moderated the relationship between self-rated health and mortality. Stratified analyses showed similar results across all racial/ethnic groups, with the exception of Black MIDUS participants. These results suggest that greater purpose in life may provide a buffer against the greater probability of mortality associated with poor subjective health.

Citation Key13464
PubMed ID37372758
PubMed Central IDPMC10298417
Grant ListF31 AG072824 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States