Forget laboratory tests, painful biopsies, or uncomfortable scans. It seems like the best predictor of your health is you!
Researchers from a Tel Aviv Medical Center surveyed over 13, 000 subjects as to their self-perception of their health with surprising results. Participants were asked to rate their health as poor, average, good, or excellent. The authors then subjected them to a variety of tests including glucose and cholesterol levels, blood cell counts and blood pressure readings. In addition they tested their levels of highly-sensitive C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and fibrinogen, both markers for inflammation. Since hs-CRP correlates with oxidative stress and the presence of various disease states, it helps determine your overall level of health.
They found that people who self-reported their health as “poor” had significantly higher levels of hs-CRP than people who reported their health as excellent. In addition, self-reported “poor” health people were more likely to have high cholesterol levels, higher blood pressure readings, and higher blood sugar readings.
The authors concluded that self-reported health is as valuable a marker of health as other markers and should be treated as such.