Using a Survey to Estimate Health Expectancy and Quality-Adjusted Life Expectancy to Assess Inequalities in Health and Quality of Life

Jun 1, 2013, 00:00 AM
Section Title : Preference-Based Assessments
Section Order : 15
First Page : 599


There has been a policy debate in the United Kingdom about moving beyond traditional measures of life expectancy and economic output to developing more meaningful ways of measuring national well-being.


To test whether quality adjusted life expectancy (QALE) was a useful indicator of health inequalities.


EuroQol five-dimensional questionnaire data from a well-being survey was combined with actuarial life expectancy (LE) data to estimate healthy LE (HLE), that is, years of life lived in good health, and QALE, that is, quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) lived for Wirral, a borough in the north west of England.


The gap between Wirral and the most deprived areas was 4.45 years for LE, 5.34 for QALE, and 7.55 for HLE. The gap in QALE was 20% greater than the gap in LE, while the gap in HLE was 70% greater.


The fact that the QALE gap value lies between the HLE value and the LE value suggests that QALE is a more sensitive indicator than HLE, as in this study QALE is derived from 243 possible EuroQol five-dimensional questionnaire profiles whereas HLE is based only on whether or not an individual rates his or her health as good, a binary variable. This study discusses how QALE could be a useful indicator for measuring health inequalities in future, especially as cost utility and QALYs are seen as the gold standard used by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence in the United Kingdom to measure outcomes for health interventions in England, and discusses how a monetary valuation of QALYs could be used to put a societal cost on health inequalities.
HEOR Topics :
  • Health State Utilities
  • Patient-Centered Research
  • Patient-reported Outcomes & Quality of Life Outcomes
Tags :
  • EQ-5D
  • health inequalities
  • population surveys
  • QALYs
Regions :