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Latham, Kenzie, and Charles W. Peek. 2013. "Self-rated health and morbidity onset among late midlife U.S. adults." Journals of Gerontology B: Psychological and Social Sciences, 68(1): 107-116.
OBJECTIVES: Although self-rated health (SRH) is recognized as a strong and consistent predictor of mortality and functional health decline, there are relatively few studies examining SRH as a predictor of morbidity. This study examines the capacity of SRH to predict the onset of chronic disease among the late midlife population (ages 51-61 years). METHOD: Utilizing the first 9 waves (1992-2008) of the Health and Retirement Study, event history analysis was used to estimate the effect of SRH on incidence of 6 major chronic diseases (coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke, lung disease, arthritis, and cancer) among those who reported none of these conditions at baseline (N = 4,770). RESULTS: SRH was a significant predictor of onset of any chronic condition and all specific chronic conditions excluding cancer. The effect was particularly pronounced for stroke. DISCUSSION: This research provides the strongest and most comprehensive evidence to date of the relationship between SRH and incident morbidity.
PMCID: PMC3605944. (Pub Med Central)