Functional health status as a predictor of mortality in men and women over 65

William K. Scott, Caroline A. Macera, Carol B. Cornman, Patricia A. Sharpe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

145 Scopus citations


This study evaluated the effect of functional health status on mortality in a sample of community-dwelling older people. White and African-American self-respondents to the 1986 National Health Interview Survey Functional Health Supplement (n = 5320) were included in the study. Functional health status was measured by a ten-item unidimensional activities of daily living-instrumental activities of daily living (ADL-IADL) scale and a three-item cognitive ADL scale. Proportional hazards regression was used to evaluate the effect of increasing score on the ten-item ADL-IADL scale on risk of mortality over a 5-year period while controlling for demographic, social, and health status covariates. In both men and women, increasing score on the ADL-IADL scale was predictive of mortality, adjusting for increasing age, poor self-rated health, low body mass index in women, and being an unmarried man. These findings indicate that a unidimensional scale consisting of both ADL and IADL items is useful in predicting mortality, controlling for the effect of covariates in sex-specific models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-296
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Activities of daily living
  • Functional health status
  • Mortality
  • National Health Interview Survey
  • Proportional hazards
  • Survival analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Epidemiology


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