Health expectancy is a widely used measure for monitoring trends in the health of a population and assessing differences in health among population groups. However, no decomposition method is available to examine the contribution made by causes of death and disability to differences in health expectancy among population groups or periods. We present a method for decomposing differences in health expectancy, based on the Sullivan method. This method is an extension of the decomposition method for life expectancy developed by Arriaga. We illustrate the method and its added value by decomposing male-female differences in health expectancy for the Netherlands.
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This investigation was supported by a grant from the European Community, Community Action on Health Monitoring Within the Framework for Action in the Field of Public Health (1997 to 2001) (DG SANCO, Convention n oSI2.290643 [2000 CVG3-506]) Euro-REVES: Setting Up a Coherent Set of Health Indicators for the European Union. The authors are grateful to Euro-REVES Group: V. Buratta, E. Cambois, V. Coutton, M. Crawford, V. Egidi, R. Gispert, C. Jagger, R. Perenboom, N. Rasmussen, K. Ritchie, J.M. Robine, D. Sanderson, J. van den Berg, L. van Herten, H. van Oyen, and I. Romieu. We are indebted to Rom Perenboom from TNO-PG for providing data on people living in institutions; Colin Mathers and Vladimir Shkolnikov for their useful comments on the decomposition method; and Anton Kunst, Anna Peeters, Jan Barendregt, Johan Mackenbach, and two anonymous referees for their useful comments on an earlier version of this article.
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Nusselder, W.J., Looman, C.W.N. Decomposition of differences in health expectancy by cause. Demography 41, 315–334 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1353/dem.2004.0017
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