Gender Differences in the Effects of Self-rated Health Status on Mortality Among the Oldest Old in China

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abstract

While self-rated health has been shown to be a powerful predictor of mortality among the old population, our understanding of how self-rated health interacts with gender and other health related conditions in predicting mortality remains inconclusive. Based on data from China’s longitudinal survey of oldest-old population from 1998 to 2000, we examine gender differences in the effects of self-rated health, education and psychosocial factors on the 2-year mortality of respondents aged 80–105 in the baseline wave of the CLHLS. Self-rated health is found to be consistently related to longer life after controlling for the effects of socio-demographic and physical health conditions among oldest-old men and women. This finding suggests that self-rated health status is an important health indicator and mortality predictor for the oldest-old in China. As education and psychosocial factors are also found to be independently predictive of mortality, they appear to play an important role in modifying the longevity among the oldest-old in China.