Spouse-rated vs self-rated health as predictors of mortality.

TitleSpouse-rated vs self-rated health as predictors of mortality.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsAyalon, L, Covinsky, KE
JournalArch Intern Med
Date Published2009 Dec 14
ISSN Number1538-3679
KeywordsAged, Cross-Sectional Studies, Female, Health Status, Humans, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Middle Aged, Self-Assessment, Spouses

BACKGROUND: The Health and Retirement Study is a national sample of Americans older than 50 years and their spouses. The present study evaluated cross-sectional and longitudinal data from January 2000 through December 2006. The objective of the study was to evaluate the roles of spouse-rated vs self-rated health as predictors of all-cause mortality among adults older than 50 years.

METHODS: A total of 673 dyads of married couples were randomly selected to participate in a Health and Retirement Study module examining spouse-rated health. For each couple, one member was asked to rate his or her overall health status, and his or her spouse was asked to report the partner's overall health status. Mortality data were available through 2006.

RESULTS: Our findings demonstrate that spouse-rated health (area under the curve, 0.75) is as strong a predictor of mortality as self-rated health (area under the curve, 0.73) (chi(2)(1) = 0.36, P = .54). Combining spouse-rated and self-rated health predicts mortality better than using self-rated health alone (area under the curve, 0.77) (chi(2)(1) = 6.72, P = .009).

CONCLUSIONS: Spouse ratings of health are at least as strongly predictive of mortality as self-rated health. This suggests that, when self-rated health is elicited as a prognostic indicator, spouse ratings can be used when self-ratings are unavailable. Both measures together may be more informative than either measure alone.

User Guide Notes


Endnote Keywords

Cross-Sectional Studies/Health Status/SELF-RATED HEALTH/Longitudinal Studies/Middle Aged/Self Assessment/Spouses/MORTALITY

Endnote ID


Alternate JournalArch Intern Med
Citation Key7297
PubMed ID20008702
PubMed Central IDPMC2920055
Grant List5R01 AG023626 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
5K24 AG029812 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
K24 AG029812 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG023626 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
K24 AG029812-03 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States