Background: Perceived health or self-rated subjective health of the oldest inhabitants of Japan was studied to identify its associated impact on their lives. Objective: The health status of the aged was evaluated to elucidate the correlation between their health complaints and perceived health status as expressed on a comprehensive rating scale. Methods: A health questionnaire including the Todai Health Index (THI) was applied to 529 inhabitants of Central Japan, aged 85 years or older. THI is a symptom checklist composed of 130 questions. Twelve scale scores and two discriminant function values were calculated. Response rate was 99.8% (528/529). Other items included sex, age, prevalence of chronic disease and its treatment, marital status, academic career, and friendship. A question ‘How is your health?’ with five ordinal response options was used to assess perceived health. Results: The mean values of THI scale scores of lie and aggression of poor (poor or extremely poor) perceived health were significantly lower than those of good (extremely good or good) perceived health. The mean values of other THI scale scores of poor perceived health except impulsiveness and nervousness in male subjects were significantly higher than those of good perceived health. Spearman’s rank correlation coefficients between perceived health score and THI scale scores were all statistically significant. Furthermore, multiple logistic regression analysis was conducted to identify significant factors predicting perceived health. THI scale scores of physical symptoms, depressive state, and irregular daily life were significant. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals in parentheses on each factor were 1.15 (1.07–1.23), 1.14 (1.02–1.30), and 1.15 (1.02–1.30), respectively. Conclusions: Poor perceived health was significantly associated with irregular lifestyle, physical and mental complaints. Perceived health reflects the health status of the oldest inhabitants of Japan.
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