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Facets of Subjective Health from Early Adulthood to Old Age

The way individuals perceive the state of their health has been found to be a predictor of longevity. Still, very little is known about the role played by genetic and environmental factors on how men and women evaluate their health status at different stages of their life course. Franz et al. (2017) start to fill this gap by using IGEMS data, an international consortium of nine existing longitudinal twin and family studies in Denmark, Sweden, and the US. The sample used included more than 12,000 adult twins ranging from 30- to 85-years-old. Their results indicate that subjective health appears to be dependent on frame of reference and reflect different aspects of health. Results suggest different genetic and environmental mechanisms underlie each facet. Accordingly, the authors suggest that more efforts should be made to study the nature of individual differences in subjective health. Their results can guide the development of optimized measures of subjective health, and improve analysis of its predictors and outcomes.


Original article: Franz, C. E., Finkel, D., Panizzon, M. S., Spoon K., Christensen, K., et al. (2017): Facets of Subjective Health From Early Adulthood to Old Age. Journal of Ageing and Health 29(1): 149-171.