Age and sex differences in associations between self-reported health, physical function, mental function and mortality

Ming Hsien Lin, Li Ju Chen, Shih Tsung Huang, Lin Chieh Meng, Wei Ju Lee, Li Ning Peng, Fei Yuan Hsiao, Liang Kung Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objectives: To explore how age and sex affect the impacts of self-rated health, self-reported physical activities, physical function, and depressive symptoms on long-term mortality among community-dwelling middle-aged and older adults using a nationally representative population-based cohort study. Methods: Data from 1550 study participants from the Social Environment and Biomarkers of Aging Study (SEBAS) were retrieved for analysis, and all participants were divided into four groups based on their age and gender. Middle aged participants were aged 53 to 64 years, and elderly subjects were ≥ 65 years old. Multivariate logistic regression models were applied to investigate the associations between age, sex, and self-reported disabilities of physical activities, physical function (activities of daily living (ADL) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) and depression. Results: Although the self-reported health status was similar across different age- and sex-stratified subgroups, older women were at the highest risk in self-reported difficulty with physical activities (aOR 2.58 [1.55-4.28]) and difficulty with IADL (aOR 3.32 [2.20-5.03]) compared to men. After adjusting for living arrangement, residence locale, education levels, occupation, socioeconomic status, self-reported health, multimorbidity, impairments in daily activities, and depressive symptoms, older men were found to display the highest risk of mortality (aHR 2.06 [95% CI 1.45-2.93]). Conclusions: Although self-reported health was similar across different age and sex stratified subgroups, women (particularly older women) are significantly more likely to have worse physical and functional health than men. After adjusting for all confounding factors, men are at substantially greater risk for mortality despite reporting better health and functional performance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104537
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • Mental health and mortality
  • Physical health
  • Self-reported health
  • Sex differences


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