(HealthDay News) – Self-rated health status is a risk factor for future vascular events and mortality in patients with cardiovascular diseases, particularly in those with asymptomatic atherosclerotic disease, according to a study published online January 18 in the Journal of Internal Medicine.

Anne M. Grool, of the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands, and colleagues followed patients with coronary artery disease (2,547), cerebrovascular disease (1,061), peripheral arterial disease (648), abdominal aortic aneurysm (272), and asymptomatic atherosclerotic disease (1,933) for a median of four years for the occurrence of a new vascular event or death. Self-rated health status was assessed with the Short Form-36 physical and mental component summary scales.

The researchers found that lower self-rated physical health status (per 10-point decrease) increased the risk of vascular events (hazard ratio [HR], 1.37), all-cause mortality (HR, 1.45), and vascular mortality (HR, 1.40). A 10-point decrease in mental health status was associated with a modest increase in the risk of vascular events (HR, 1.19), all-cause mortality (HR, 1.19), and vascular mortality (HR, 1.28). Risk estimates of physical and mental health status were highest in patients with asymptomatic atherosclerotic disease, and lowest in those with peripheral arterial disease.

“Poorer self-rated physical and mental health status increases the risk of vascular events and mortality in a broad population of patients with symptomatic and asymptomatic atherosclerotic disease,” the authors write.

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