Longitudinal predictors of self-rated health and mortality in older adults.

TitleLongitudinal predictors of self-rated health and mortality in older adults.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsWagner, DC, Short, JL
JournalPrev Chronic Dis
Date Published2014 Jun 05
ISSN Number1545-1151
KeywordsAge Factors, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Body Mass Index, Chronic disease, depression, Educational Status, Female, Health Behavior, Health Status Indicators, Humans, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Mental Recall, Middle Aged, Proportional Hazards Models, Psychometrics, Retirement, Self Report, Survival Analysis, United States

INTRODUCTION: Few studies have compared the effects of demographic, cognitive, and behavioral factors of health and mortality longitudinally. We examined predictors of self-rated health and mortality at 3 points, each 2 years apart, over 4 years.

METHODS: We used data from the 2006 wave of the Health and Retirement Study and health and mortality indicators from 2006, 2008, and 2010. We analyzed data from 17,930 adults (aged 50-104 y) to examine predictors of self-rated health and data from a subgroup of 1,171 adults who died from 2006 through 2010 to examine predictors of mortality.

RESULTS: Time 1 depression was the strongest predictor of self-rated health at all points, independent of age and education. Education, mild activities, body mass index, delayed word recall, and smoking were all associated with self-rated health at each point and predicted mortality. Delayed word recall mediated the relationships of mild activity with health and mortality. Bidirectional mediation was found for the effects of mild activity and depression on health.

CONCLUSION: Medical professionals should consider screening for depression and memory difficulties in addition to conducting medical assessments. These assessments could lead to more effective biopsychosocial interventions to help older adults manage risks for mortality.


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Endnote Keywords

Self assessed health/depression/mortality/memory decline/psychosocial influences/psychosocial influences

Endnote ID


Alternate JournalPrev Chronic Dis
Citation Key8098
PubMed ID24901793
PubMed Central IDPMC4049199
Grant ListU01 AG009740 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
U01AG009740 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States