Self-rated health and interviewer-rated health: differentials in predictive power for mortality among subgroups of Chinese elders

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Interviewer-rated health (IRH) and self-rated health (SRH) have strong and independent predictive power for mortality, but their relative predictive power has not been examined among sub-populations. Because individuals from different subpopulations have different characteristics have distinct views, understandings, and judgments about health that influence their criteria and referents for SRH, we examine whether IRH is a valid predictor of mortality within subpopulations, which may provide added value for understanding its association with mortality. Using data from the 2005 and 2008 waves of the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey, this study modeled associations of SRH and IRH with mortality in various subgroups among 12,583 older adults in China. We found that IRH is a robust predictor of mortality, independent of SRH, across major demographic and socioeconomic subpopulations after adjusting for a wide range of covariates. The predictive power of IRH for mortality was generally more robust than that of SRH in most subpopulations. Our findings suggest that IRH could be a good complement to SRH among subgroups of the Chinese older population.

interviewer-rated health, self-rated health, mortality, older adults, China