What are health expectancies?

What are the health expectancies?

Figure from WHO, 1984: Total, disease-free, disability-free survival curves

Life expectancy at old ages has been increasing for several decades. This gives rise to questions about the health status of the population. The World Health Organization declared in its 1997 World Health Report that "increased longevity without quality of life is an empty price. Health expectancy is more important than life expectancy".

Health expectancy is a general term referring to the entire class of indicators expressed in terms of life expectancy in a given state of health. Health expectancies are indicators of current health and mortality conditions. As many health expectancies exist as health measures (disease, disability, perceived health, or other concepts). Disability-free life expectancy, chronic disease-free life expectancy, life expectancy in good perceived health, are the health expectancies the most often met in the literature.

Regular calculation of health expectancies allows measuring the evolution of the health status of a population when life expectancy increases and indicates whether the years of life gained are years in good or bad health.

For further information click on "how to interprete trends? " in the box