Association between multiple comorbidities and self-rated health status in middle-aged and elderly Chinese: The China Kadoorie Biobank study

China Kadoorie Biobank (CKB) collaborative group

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    Background: Understanding the correlates of self-rated health (SRH) can help public health professionals prioritize health-promotion and disease-prevention interventions. This study aimed to investigate the association between multiple comorbidities and global SRH and age-comparative SRH. Methods: A total of 512,891 participants aged 30-79 years old were recruited into the China Kadoorie Biobank study from ten regions between 2004 and 2008. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to estimate the odds ratios (ORs) for the associations between comorbidities (including diabetes, hypertension, coronary heart disease, rheumatic heart disease, stroke, tuberculosis, emphysema/bronchitis, asthma, cirrhosis/chronic hepatitis, peptic ulcer, gallbladder disease, kidney disease, fracture, rheumatic arthritis, psychiatric disorders, depressive symptoms, neurasthenia, head injury and cancer) and SRH. Population attributable risks (PARs) were used to estimate the contribution of multiple comorbidities to poor global SRH and worse age-comparative SRH. Results: After adjusting for covariates, suffering from various diseases increased the chance of reporting a poor global SRH [OR (95% CI) ranged from 1.10 (1.07, 1.13) for fracture to 3.21 (2.68, 3.83) for rheumatic heart disease] and a worse age-comparative SRH [OR (95% CI) ranged from 1.18 (1.13, 1.23) for fracture to 7.56 (6.93, 8.25) for stroke]. From the population perspective, 20.23% of poor global SRH and 45.12% of worse age-comparative SRH could attributed to the cardiometabolic diseases, with hypertension (7.84% for poor global SRH and 13.79% for worse age-comparative SRH), diabetes (4.35% for poor global SRH and 10.71% for worse age-comparative SRH), coronary heart disease (4.44% for poor global SRH and 9.51% for worse age-comparative SRH) and stroke (3.20% for poor global SRH and 10.19% for worse age-comparative SRH) making the largest contribution. Conclusions: Various diseases were major determinants of global and age-comparative SRH, and cardiometabolic diseases had the strongest impact on both global SRH and age-comparative SRH at the population level. Prevention measures concentrated on these conditions would greatly reduce the total burden of poor SRH and its consequences such as poor quality of life and use of health care services.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number744
    Number of pages24
    JournalBMC Public Health
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2018

    Bibliographical note

    © The Author(s). 2018 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
    International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and
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    This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2016YFC0900500, 2016YFC0900501, 2016YFC0900504, 2017YFC0907500 and 2017YFC0907504) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81390540, 81390541, and 81202266). The CKB baseline survey and the first re-survey were supported by a grant from the Kadoorie Charitable Foundation in Hong Kong. The long-term follow-up is supported by grants from the UK Wellcome Trust (202922/Z/16/Z, 088158/Z/09/Z, 104085/Z/14/Z) and Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (2011BAI09B01). The funders had no role in the study design, data collection, data analysis and interpretation, writing of the report, or the decision to submit the article for publication.


    • Chinese population
    • Comorbidity
    • Cross-sectional study
    • Self-rated health status

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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