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Vol. 49, No. 4, 2003
Issue release date: July–August 2003
Section title: Behavioural Science Section
Gerontology 2003;49:265–271
(DOI:10.1159/000070409)

Self-Rated Life Expectancy as a Predictor of Mortality: Evidence from the HRS and AHEAD Surveys

Siegel M. · Bradley E.H. · Kasl S.V.
aAlbert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx,N.Y., and bDepartment of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, NewHaven,Conn., USA

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Behavioural Science Section

Received: 5/13/2002
Accepted: 12/18/2002
Published online: 6/13/2003

Number of Print Pages: 7
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 3

ISSN: 0304-324X (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0003 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/GER

Abstract

Background: An extensive literature has demonstrated that self-ratings of health predict mortality, even after controlling for more objective measures of health, health habits and sociodemographic characteristics. We examine the role of a related concept, self-rated life expectancy, in predicting mortality. Objective: To assess whether self-rated life expectancy predicts mortality after controlling for measures of health, self-rated health, and sociodemographic characteristics. Methods: Using data from the 1992 Health and Retirement Survey (HRS), the 1993 Asset and Health Dynamics Among the Oldest Old (AHEAD) survey, and the second Tracker file (2.0), Cox proportional hazard models were estimated to assess whether self-rated life expectancy predicts mortality, after adjusting for self-rated health and several potential confounders that might otherwise explain this relationship. The AHEAD sample included 2,102 men and 3,160 women. During the 2 years of follow-up, 9% (n = 185) of the men died and 5% (n = 166) of the women died. The HRS sample was comprised of 4,090 men and 4,885 women. Four percent (n = 164) of the men died and 2% (n = 99) of the women died in the 3 years of follow-up. Results: In the older, AHEAD sample, both self-rated life expectancy (p < 0.01) and self-rated health (p < 0.05) predicted mortality for both men and women, even when the two measures were included in the model together. In the younger, HRS sample, self-rated life expectancy was not significantly associated with mortality when self-rated health was included in the model. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that, although self-rated life expectancy and self-rated health may be conceptually related, they have independent empirical effects on mortality.


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Behavioural Science Section

Received: 5/13/2002
Accepted: 12/18/2002
Published online: 6/13/2003

Number of Print Pages: 7
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 3

ISSN: 0304-324X (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0003 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/GER


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Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
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