Quality of Life Research

, Volume 16, Issue 9, pp 1547–1553 | Cite as

Deteriorating health status in Stockholm 1998–2002: results from repeated population surveys using the EQ-5D

  • Kristina Burström
  • Magnus Johannesson
  • Clas Rehnberg


Rationale, aim and methodology

In order to measure the change in health status in Sweden, the generic health-related quality of life instrument, the EQ-5D, was included in the 1998 (n = 4,950) and 2002 (n = 49,914) cross-sectional postal Public Health Surveys, a representative sample (21–84 years) of the Stockholm County population, with response rates about 63% in both years. The EQ-5D provides data on five dimensions of health as well as an overall index value (1 = full health; 0 = dead).


Over time the health index decreased statistically significantly from 0.858 to 0.841 for men and from 0.833 to 0.797 for women. Women had significantly more health problems in 2002 in four out of the five dimensions, with the largest increase in the dimensions anxiety/depression (33–43%) and pain/discomfort (47–53%). The health index was significantly lower in all age-groups for women. Men had significantly more health problems 2002 in two dimensions, and the largest increase in anxiety/depression (24–31%). The health index decreased significantly over time for younger men.


The observed deterioration in health status over time gives reason for concern. Investigation of reasons for the declining health status should be a research priority.


EQ-5D Health-related quality of life Health status index Health surveys Health trends 



This study was funded by Stockholm County Council. We would like to thank Stockholm Centre of Public Health for conducting this study. All helpful comments on an earlier version of this article at a EuroQol Scientific Meeting are gratefully acknowledged. We also thank three anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kristina Burström
    • 1
  • Magnus Johannesson
    • 2
  • Clas Rehnberg
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Public Health Sciences, Division of Social MedicineKarolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden
  2. 2.Centre for Health EconomicsStockholm School of EconomicsStockholmSweden
  3. 3.Department of Medical Management CentreKarolinska Institutet StockholmSweden

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