Self-Rated Health Among Saudi Adults: Findings from a National Survey, 2013
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Self-rated health reflects a person’s integrated perception of health, including its biological, psychological, and social dimensions. It is a predictor of morbidity and mortality. To assess the current status of self-rated health and associated factors in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, we analyzed data from the Saudi Health Interview Survey. We conducted a large national survey of adults aged 15 years or older. A total of 10,735 participants completed a standardized health questionnaire. Respondents rated their health with a five-point scale. Data on socio-demographic characteristics, chronic diseases, health-related habits and behaviors, and anthropometric measurements were collected. Associated factors of self-rated health were analyzed using a backward elimination multivariate logistic regression model. More than 77 % of respondents rated their health as excellent/very good. Female sex [odds ratio (OR) 1.52, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 1.24–1.88], decades of age (OR 1.35, 95 % CI 1.25–1.46), diagnosed diabetes mellitus (OR 1.54, 95 % CI 1.22–1.93), diagnosed hypercholesterolemia (OR 1.37, 95 % CI 1.06–1.79), diagnosed hypertension (OR 1.55, 95 % CI 1.22–1.96), number of other diagnosed chronic diseases (OR 1.69, 95 % CI 1.41–2.03), limited vigorous activity (OR 3.59, 95 % CI 2.84–4.53), need for special equipment (OR 2.62, 95 % CI 1.96–3.51), and more than 3 h of daily television/computer screen time (OR 1.59, 95 % CI1.11–2.29) were positively associated with poor/fair health. Smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity were not associated with self-reported health. We found that preventable risk factors are not associated with Saudis’ self-rated health. This optimistic perception of health poses a challenge for preventive interventions in the Kingdom and calls for campaigns to educate the public about the harm of unhealthy behaviors.
KeywordsHealth status Self-rated health Subjective health Perceived health Saudi Arabia
We would like to thank Katherine Muller at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation for editing the manuscript. This study was financially supported by a grant from the Ministry of Health (MOH) of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Conflict of interest
The authors state that they have no conflict of interests for the original study and current paper.
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