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Publication date: 
March 21, 2015


Self-rated health reflects a person’s integrated perception of health, including its biological, psychological, and social dimensions. It is a predictor of morbidity and mortality. To assess the current status of self-rated health and associated factors in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, we analyzed data from the Saudi Health Interview Survey. We conducted a large national survey of adults aged 15 years or older. A total of 10,735 participants completed a standardized health questionnaire. Respondents rated their health with a five-point scale. Data on socio-demographic characteristics, chronic diseases, health-related habits and behaviors, and anthropometric measurements were collected. Associated factors of self-rated health were analyzed using a backward elimination multivariate logistic regression model. More than 77 % of respondents rated their health as excellent/very good. Female sex [odds ratio (OR) 1.52, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 1.24–1.88], decades of age (OR 1.35, 95 % CI 1.25–1.46), diagnosed diabetes mellitus (OR 1.54, 95 % CI 1.22–1.93), diagnosed hypercholesterolemia (OR 1.37, 95 % CI 1.06–1.79), diagnosed hypertension (OR 1.55, 95 % CI 1.22–1.96), number of other diagnosed chronic diseases (OR 1.69, 95 % CI 1.41–2.03), limited vigorous activity (OR 3.59, 95 % CI 2.84–4.53), need for special equipment (OR 2.62, 95 % CI 1.96–3.51), and more than three hours of daily television/computer screen time (OR 1.59, 95 % CI1.11–2.29) were positively associated with poor/fair health. Smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity were not associated with self-reported health. We found that preventable risk factors are not associated with Saudis’ self-rated health. This optimistic perception of health poses a challenge for preventive interventions in the Kingdom and calls for campaigns to educate the public about the harm of unhealthy behaviors.


Moradi-Lakeh M, El Bcheraoui C, Tuffaha M, Daoud F, Al Saeedi M, Basulaiman M, Memish ZA, AlMazroa MA, Al Rabeeah AA, Mokdad AH. Self-rated health among Saudi adults: Findings from a national survey, 2013. Journal of Community Health. 2015 Mar 21. doi: 10.1007/s10900-015-0014-4.