Ciência & Saúde Coletiva
On-line version ISSN 1678-4561Print version ISSN 1413-8123
REICHERT, Felipe Fossati; LOCH, Mathias Roberto and CAPILHEIRA, Marcelo Fernandes. Self-reported health status in adolescents, adults and the elderly. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2012, vol.17, n.12, pp.3353-3362. ISSN 1678-4561. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232012001200020.
The scope of this study was to verify the prevalence and associated factors of self-reported health status as regular/bad. A cross-sectional, population-based study was conducted in Pelotas. The sample size comprised 820 adolescents, 2715 adults and 385 elderly. Self-reported health status was investigated via the question: "How do you rate your health?" Data on demographics, socioeconomic, behavioral, and health-related characteristics of individuals were gathered. Adjusted prevalence ratios were estimated through the Poisson regression. Prevalence of reporting health status as regular or bad was 12.1%, 22.3% and 49.4% in adolescents, adults and the elderly, respectively. Adolescents with lower economic status and schooling had higher prevalence of regular/bad self-reported health. Among adults and the elderly, women and older men with lower economic status and some morbidity presented a higher proportion of regular/bad self-reported health. In conclusion, individuals perceive health not only as the absence of a disease, but also as a construct related to social, demographic and, to a lesser extent, behavioral aspects. Health approaches must recognize this fact and transcend the simplistic model where health is dichotomized into the sick and the non-sick.
Keywords : Self-reported health status; Prevalence; Associated factors; Risk factors; Epidemiology.