Comparison of Self- and Physician-Assessed Overall Health Status by SES & Race-Ethnicity among Older Americans

April A. Greek, Battelle- Centers for Public Health Research and Evaluation

Self-reported assessments of overall health are considered one of the most robust measures of health when using population surveys. However, few studies have evaluated the association of physician- and self-assessments of overall health by SES and race-ethnicity. Study data are from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES3) which is a nationally representative sample of the U.S. civilian, non-institutionalized population with oversampling of African- and Mexican Americans, and persons age 60 and older. The NHANES3 conducted both in-home interviews and extensive physical exams in mobile centers. The impact of measurement source on estimates by SES and race-ethnicity is evaluated with multivariate linear and logistic regression. Agreement between sources is evaluated with multinomial logistic regression. Although African Americans and whites have similar associations between self- and physician-assessments after adjusting for SES, there are substantial differences among Mexican Americans by language of interview. Some differences are noted by educational attainment.

Presented in Session 142: New Measurement Methods in Studies of Health and Aging