Document Type


Publication Date



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Pathology, Anatomy and Laboratory Medicine


Objective: To examine the association between socioeconomic status (SES), self-rated health (SRH), and mortality separately by race-ethnicity in a nationally representative sample of US adults. Methods: We analyzed data from 16 716 adult women and men who were followed up for mortality for up to 12 years as part of the third National Health and Nutrition Examination survey (NHANES III). Poverty-income ratio (PIR) and education were assessed as measures of SES. All-cause mortality (n = 2850) was recorded from the NHANES III linked mortality file.

Results: Lower PIR was associated with mortality after adjustment for lifestyle, clinical risk factors, and SRH in all racial-ethnic groups (P-trend <0.005). In contrast, after adjusting for lifestyle and clinical risk factors, lower education was not associated with all-cause mortality in non-Hispanic whites (P-trend = 0.16), whereas the association remained significant after adjustment for SRH and lifestyle and clinical risk factors in other race- ethnicities (P-trend = 0.005; P-interaction between education categories and race-ethnicity was 0.02). Conclusions: Our results suggest that lower PIR was associated with mortality in all racial-ethnic groups. In contrast, lower education was significantly associated with mortality only in racial-ethnic groups other than non- Hispanic whites. Our results indicate that, beyond lifestyle and clinical risk factors, adjusting for SRH resulted in only a modest change in the association of SES and mortality.

Source Citation

Suresh, S., Sabanayagam, C., & Shankar, A. (2011). Socioeconomic Status, Self-Rated Health, and Mortality in a Multiethnic Sample of US Adults. Journal of Epidemiology, 21(5), 337–345.


Copyright © 2011 by the Japan Epidemiological Association



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