Journal Article

Validity of Self-rated Health among Latino(a)s

Brian Karl Finch, Robert A. Hummer, Maureen Reindl and William A. Vega

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 155, issue 8, pages 755-759
Published in print April 2002 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online April 2002 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aje/155.8.755
Validity of Self-rated Health among Latino(a)s

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The authors investigated whether self-rated health (SRH) had differential mortality risks for Latino(a) adults of various acculturation statuses living in the United States. They used cumulative National Health Interview Survey data from 1989 to 1994 (n = 37,713) linked with the National Health Interview Survey Multiple Cause of Death data files (1,364 deaths) that match records from the National Death Index through 1997. The authors specified survival models to estimate the effect of SRH on mortality and further stratified their model by birth and duration in the United States as proxies for acculturation. These estimates were compared across strata. Poor SRH was found to be a weaker predictor of subsequent mortality risk among the less acculturated, although the overall risk among the aggregated sample is similar to the risk reported in previous studies. The relation between poor SRH and mortality risk increases with United States acculturation among Latinos. While poor SRH was significantly associated with short-term mortality among the least acculturated, this association did not persist beyond 2-year mortality risk. Health researchers wishing to use SRH to assess the physical health of multiethnic populations should at least control for levels of acculturation among respondents.

Keywords: acculturation; emigration and immigration; health status; health surveys; mortality; NHIS, National Health Interview Survey; SRH, self-rated health

Journal Article.  2560 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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