Subjective Health Assessments Among Older Adults in Mexico
The validity of the general self-rated health (SRH) assessment is well established; however, there are empirical questions as to the utility of health assessment measures that employ more refined comparisons. The aim of this study is to examine subjective health assessment measures in comparison to the most widely used SRH measure (Global SRH) among men and women. We investigate agreement between these measures, by gender, and their correspondence with objective health conditions using a sample of adults over the age of 60 from the 2006 La Encuesta Nacional de Salud y Nutrición (ENSANUT). ENSANUT is a nationally representative, repeated cross-sectional Mexican survey (n = 5511) and advantageous given its inclusion of three distinct subjective health assessment questions including: global self-rated health, self-rated heath today, and 12-month self-rated health. First, we descriptively examine demographic characteristics of the sample and the degree of correspondence between health ratings. Then, we explore congruence between objective health conditions and subjective-health ratings within each SRH measure. We estimate three ordered logistic regression models testing responses on a three-point scale and use predicted probabilities for interpretation. Our findings reaffirm the role of physical health conditions as strong predictors of poor SRH and highlight the significance of mental health as a determinant of subjective health in this sample of older Mexican adults. We caution that future research examining older adults’ health should carefully consider the type of subjective health assessment used.
KeywordsMexico Health correspondence Older adults Self-assessed health Gender
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