Journal of Urban Health

, Volume 86, Issue 4, pp 551–561 | Cite as

Health-Related Quality of Life, Quality-Adjusted Life Years, and Quality-Adjusted Life Expectancy in New York City from 1995 to 2006

  • Erica I. LubetkinEmail author
  • Haomiao Jia


We applied our previously developed estimation equation to predict EQ-5D index scores from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Healthy Days measures for the New York City (NYC) adult population from 1995 to 2006 and compared these trends over time with the US general population. Such scores enabled us to examine the burden of disease attributable to smoking and overweight/obesity at both the local and national levels. We employed the estimation equation to the 1993–2007 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data to obtain EQ-5D index scores for all survey respondents based on their age, self-rated health status, and overall number of unhealthy days. With the combination of mortality data, we calculated trends of quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), life expectancy (LE), and quality-adjusted life expectancy (QALE) as well as the percent of QALYs and QALE lost contributed by smoking and overweight/obesity. Mean EQ-5D index scores for NYC adults decreased from 0.874 to 0.852 but, more recently, have increased to 0.869. The LE of an 18-year-old living in NYC increased 4.7 years and QALE increased 2.6 years. The contribution of smoking to the proportion of QALYs lost decreased from 6.7% to 3.5%, while the contribution of overweight/obesity to the proportion of QALYs lost increased from 4.5% to 16.9%. The proportion of QALEs lost due to smoking decreased from 5.5% to 4.5%, while the proportion of QALEs lost due to overweight/obesity increased from 3.5% to 11.8%. Because the Healthy Days measures have been included in the BRFSS since 1993, translating Healthy Days Measures to a preference-based measure is a useful method for longitudinal tracking of population health at the local, state, and national level.


Health-related quality of life EQ-5D Healthy days measures Burden of disease 


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Copyright information

© The New York Academy of Medicine 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Community Health and Social MedicineSophie Davis School of Biomedical Education at The City College of New YorkNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biostatistics, Mailman School of Public HealthColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.School of NursingColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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