Self-rated health and physician-rated health as independent predictors of mortality in elderly men

E.J. Giltay, A.M. Vollaard, D. Kromhout

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Background: When assessing health status, physicians may focus on objective symptoms and diagnoses, whereas individuals may focus more on subjective symptoms, functional limitations and quality of life. Methods: In the Zutphen Elderly Study, 710 community-living men (aged 64–84 years) were followed until death for 15 years. Self-rated health was assessed through a single-item question. Physician-rated health was estimated on a Likert scale by physicians after medical history assessment and physical examination. Both health ratings were categorised into three groups. All-cause, cardiovascular and cancer mortality rates were analysed in Cox proportional-hazards models. Results: There were 352 (49.6%) men who felt healthy and 225 (31.7%) men with a good physician-rated health. During 15 years of follow-up 503 of 710 men (70.8%) died, of whom 229 (45.5%) from cardiovascular causes and 144 (28.6%) from cancer. Self-rated and physician-rated health both predicted independently all-cause mortality (hazard ratios [HR] for worst vs. best health category: 1.72; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.26–2.33, and 1.77; 95% CI: 1.36–2.29; respectively; P-values of
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-171
JournalAge and Ageing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • intensive-care-unit
  • cancer-patients
  • heart-disease
  • survival
  • zutphen
  • adults
  • risk
  • inflammation
  • term

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