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01.09.2010 | Regular Article | Ausgabe 5/2010

Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine 5/2010

On the application of structural equation modeling for the construction of a health index

Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine > Ausgabe 5/2010
Ferra Yanuar, Kamarulzaman Ibrahim, Abdul Aziz Jemain



The health of an individual is influenced by many factors. These could include factors that are related to the economy and the environment, as well as social and biological factors. Many studies have been carried out to study the effect of these factors on health, in terms of the individual factors or combined factors. The main purpose of this study was to demonstrate the value of structural equation modeling for the construction of an index to describe the health status of an individual.


Structural equation modeling was applied to data obtained from 5035 respondents in a survey conducted in the district of Hulu Langat, Malaysia, in the year 2001 by the Department of Community Health, Medical Faculty, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Malaysia. The survey involved the gathering of information on the respondents’ demography, lifestyles, mental health condition, and biomarkers.


Socio-demography and mental health condition were found to have a direct effect on the health index. However, lifestyle had an indirect effect on the health index, as mediated by the mental health. Based on the indicator of model fit, the proposed model fits the data well.


Structural equation modeling was found to be pertinent to be used for analyzing the health index of a particular individual.

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