23 Jul 2007

Healthy Life Expectancy in the EU Member States

Ehsan Khoman / Martin Weale

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A shift in emphasis from increasing survival to improving both the length and quality of peoples’ lives has led to a greater policy interest in the United Kingdom and in Europe as a whole in summary measures of population health. Since health expectancy is a complex, multi-faceted concept, there are consequently as many types of health expectancies as there are empirical measures of sub-optimal health. Thus, this paper is essentially about the transition of health states and the dynamics of health and addresses two questions. First, what is the probability that an individual will be in the same health state next year, be free of disability, be in worse health, have left for a permanent health care institution or be dead? Secondly, what is the expected time spent in each health state, given that an individual is initially in a specified health category?