AccScience Publishing / IJPS / Volume 2 / Issue 2 / DOI: 10.18063/IJPS.2016.02.007

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

Haiyan Zhu1* Qiushi Feng2 Danan Gu3
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1 Department of Sociology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 560 McBryde Hall, 225 Stanger Street, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA
2 Department of Sociology and Centre for Family and Population Research, National University of Singapore, 11 Arts Link, Singapore 117573, Singapore
3 Population Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017, USA
© 2016 by the Authors. Licensee AccScience Publishing, Singapore. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (

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 subpopulations. Because individuals from different subpopulations 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
older adults

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