Predicting future years of healthy life for older adults
Cost-effectiveness studies often need to compare the cost of a program to the lifetime benefits of the program, but estimates of lifetime benefits are not routinely available, especially for older adults. We used data from two large longitudinal studies of older adults (ages 65-100) to estimate transition probabilities from one health state to another, and used those probabilities to estimate the mean additional years of healthy life that an older adult of specified age, sex, and health status would experience. We found, for example, that 65-year-old women in excellent health can expect 16.8 years of healthy life in the future, compared to only 8.5 years for women in poor health. We also provide estimates of discounted years of healthy life and future life expectancy. These estimates may be used to extend the effective length of the study period in cost-effectiveness studies, to examine the impact of chronic diseases or risk factors on years of healthy life, or to investigate the relationship of years of life to years of healthy life. Several applications are described.
Paula Diehr. "Predicting future years of healthy life for older adults" J Clin Epidemiol 51.4 (1998): 343-353.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/paula_diehr/28