June 4, 2019 – Factors in Self-Rating of Health


Anchor lead: What factors do people think of when rating their own health? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Would you rate your own health as excellent? People who do so most likely think of things like their exercise and dietary habits, how often they get sick, and other factors, but an alarming 10% of them had severe blockages in their heart’s arteries when a coronary calcium scan was done. That’s according to a new study by Olusola Orimoloye, a cardiologist and post-doctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins.

Orimoloye: Across categories people who report excellent health, were more likely to exercise, were more likely to have healthy diet, less likely to have hypertension, less like to have diabetes, less likely to be obese, but still, you still find that in that population you still see that at least 10% of people might be at increased cardiovascular risk based on their calcium score.  :24

Orimoloye notes that coronary calcium scans are very quick and painless, and may help identify people who thought they weren’t at increased risk for cardiovascular disease but who may be. He says that such objective tests along with self-reported factors help create a composite picture of risk. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.