Opin vísindi

Self-rated health and socio-economic status among older adults in Northern Iceland

Self-rated health and socio-economic status among older adults in Northern Iceland

Title: Self-rated health and socio-economic status among older adults in Northern Iceland
Author: Sigurdardottir, Arun K.   orcid.org/0000-0002-4287-5409
Kristofersson, Gisli   orcid.org/0000-0002-5102-4569
Gustafsdottir, Sonja Stelly   orcid.org/0000-0002-1790-4554
Sigurðsson, Stefán B   orcid.org/0000-0003-1036-2008
Arnadottir, Solveig A   orcid.org/0000-0002-3017-113X
Steingrimsson, Jon   orcid.org/0000-0003-2116-9377
Gunnarsdottir, Elin   orcid.org/0000-0002-0604-8158
Date: 2019-11-29
Language: English
Scope: 1697476
University/Institute: Háskóli Íslands
University of Iceland
Háskólinn á Akureyri
University of Akureyri
School: Heilbrigðisvísindasvið (HA)
School of Health Sciences (UA)
Hug- og félagsvísindasvið (HA)
School of Humanities and Social Sciences (UA)
Heilbrigðisvísindasvið (HÍ)
School of Health Sciences (UI)
Department: Læknadeild (HÍ)
Faculty of Medicine (UI)
Series: International Journal of Circumpolar Health;78(1)
ISSN: 2242-3982
DOI: 10.1080/22423982.2019.1697476
Subject: Arctic areas; Community dwelling; Older people; Rural health; Dreifbýli; Heilsufar; Aldraðir
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/1885

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Arun K. Sigurdardottir, Gísli Kort Kristófersson, Sonja Stelly Gústafsdóttir, Stefan B Sigurdsson, Solveig A. Arnadottir, Jon Arni Steingrimsson & Elín Díanna Gunnarsdóttir (2019) Self-rated health and socio-economic status among older adults in Northern Iceland, International Journal of Circumpolar Health, 78:1, 1697476, DOI: 10.1080/22423982.2019.1697476


Little is known about self-rated health (SRH) of older people living in more remote and Arctic areas. Iceland is a high-income country with one of the lowest rates of income inequality in the world, which may influence SRH. The research aim was to study factors affecting SRH, in such a population living in Northern Iceland. Stratified random sample according to the place of residency, age and gender was used and data collected via face-to-face interviews. Inclusion criteria included community-dwelling adults ≥65 years of age. Response rate was 57.9% (N = 175), average age 74.2 (sd 6.3) years, range 65–92 years and 57% were men. The average number of diagnosed diseases was 1.5 (sd 1.3) and prescribed medications 3.0 (sd 1.7). SRH ranged from 5 (excellent) to 1 (bad), with an average of 3.26 (sd 1.0) and no difference between the place of residency. Lower SRH was independently explained by depressed mood (OR = 0.88, 95% CI = 0.80–0.96), higher body mass index (OR = 0.93, 95% CI = 0.87–0.99), number of prescribed medications (OR = 0.88, 95% CI = 0.78–1.00) and perception of inadequate income (OR = 0.45, 95% CI = 0.21–0.98). The results highlight the importance of physical and mental health promotion for general health and for ageing in place and significance of economic factors as predictors of SRH.


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This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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