International Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 173–180

Subjective health and illness, coping and life satisfaction in an 80-year-old swedish population-implications for mortality

  • Ingela Steij Stålbrand
  • Torbjörn Svensson
  • Sölve Elmståhl
  • Vibeke Horstmann
  • Bo Hagberg
  • Ove Dehlin
  • Gillis Samuelsson
Article

DOI: 10.1007/BF03000189

Cite this article as:
Stålbrand, I.S., Svensson, T., Elmståhl, S. et al. Int. J. Behav. Med. (2007) 14: 173. doi:10.1007/BF03000189

Abstract

Background: Multi morbidity and illness will become more common due to increased life expectancy. Purpose: This study describes various combinations of diseases and symptoms and explores implications for mortality in a sample of 80-year-olds followed up to 95 years of age. Furthermore, reported subjective health, coping, and life satisfaction is explored. Method: 212 persons, born in 1908, were classified into four groups based on their number of diseases and reported symptoms according to a health examination at the age of 80. These groups were compared regarding standardized measurements of subjective health, depression, coping, life satisfaction, and mortality. Results: The mortality risks, the hazard ratios, were of the same magnitude, 1.8–2.2, whether the persons experienced several symptoms, had several diseases, or a combination of several symptoms and several diseases when compared to the healthy group of respondents. Conclusion: The experience of subjective signs of illness carries the same mortality risks as diseases.

Key words

comorbidity mortality coping behavior elderly cohort

Copyright information

© International Society of Behavioral Medicine 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ingela Steij Stålbrand
    • 1
    • 2
  • Torbjörn Svensson
    • 3
  • Sölve Elmståhl
    • 3
  • Vibeke Horstmann
    • 3
  • Bo Hagberg
    • 3
  • Ove Dehlin
    • 3
  • Gillis Samuelsson
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Psychology and The Vårdal InstituteSweden
  2. 2.Department of Health SciencesDivision of Geriatric MedicineMalmöSweden
  3. 3.Department of Health SciencesUnit of Gerontology and Care for the ElderlySweden