Self-rated health: Changes, trajectories, and their antecedents among African Americans

Fredric D. Wolinsky, Thomas R. Miller, Theodore K. Malmstrom, J. Philip Miller, Mario Schootman, Elena M. Andresen, Douglas K. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Objective: Little is known about changes in self-rated health (SRH) among African Americans. Method: We examined SRH changes and trajectories among 998 African Americans 49 to 65 years old who we reinterviewed annually for 4 years, using multinomial logistic regression and mixed effect models. Results: Fifty-five percent had the same SRH at baseline and 4 years later, 25% improved, and 20% declined. Over time, men were more likely to report lower SRH levels, individuals with hypertension were less likely to report lower SRH levels, and those with congestive heart failure at baseline were more likely to report higher SRH levels. Lower SRH trajectory intercepts were observed for those with lower socioeconomic status, poorer health habits, disease history, and worse functional status. Those with better cognitive status had higher SRH trajectory intercepts. Discussion: The decline in SRH levels among 49- to 65-year-old African Americans is comparable to that of Whites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-158
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2008


  • African Americans
  • Longitudinal modeling
  • Self-rated health


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