This article reports on prevalence of poor self-rated health and associated factors among elderly users of the Brazilian Unified National Health System (SUS) in Goiânia, Goiás State, Brazil. The article is based on a cross-sectional study with a proportional sample of elderly in the nine health districts of Goiânia. Data were collected after a pilot study and training of field staff. The measure of association was the prevalence ratio (PR) and respective confidence interval (95%CI). Multivariate analysis was performed using hierarchical Poisson regression. In 403 elderly, prevalence of poor self-rated health was 27.5% (95%CI: 23.2-32.2). The rate was 29.7% in women and 29.1% among seniors aged 60-64 years. Variables associated with poor self-rated health according to multivariate analysis were: less than one year of schooling, lack of physical exercise, use of five or more medications, and recent weight loss. The results showed high prevalence of poor self-rated health and associated factors, including both adverse social conditions and individual health and lifestyle factors.