General Health Status


Measures of general health status provide information on the health of a population. They allow for broad comparisons across different conditions and populations. Differences in general health status among segments of the general population indicate disparities in resources for good health.

Poor general health impacts all aspects of life, including work, school, education, social networks, and financial status. Good health is important for thriving communities, and everyone should be afforded the opportunity to achieve healthy lives. Understanding how health status varies within a population can help guide policies or interventions to improve the health of those experiencing disparities.

Adult Health status in Iowa

Most Iowans consider their health to be excellent or very good. However, more than one in 6 adults in Iowa consider their health to be fair or poor, and health status varies markedly within Iowa’s population. In 2017, one in four Hispanic adults living in Iowa considered their health to be fair or poor, as did 40% of those with a household income less than $15,000 per year.

General health status is an important measure for health promotion and planning, and disaggregated data are necessary to design efficient and effective policies and interventions to address population health. Self-reported health status is a reliable indicator of a person’s perceived health, and is a good global assessment of a person’s wellbeing. Self-reported health status may worsen if the health system and other domains are not working to improve quality of life.