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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0102-311X

Abstract

ROMERO, Dalia Elena; LEITE, Iúri da Costa  and  SZWARCWALD, Célia Landmann. Healthy life expectancy in Brazil: applying the Sullivan method. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2005, vol.21, suppl.1, pp. S7-S18. ISSN 0102-311X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2005000700002.

The objective of this study is to present the method proposed by Sullivan and to estimate the healthy life expectancy using different measures of state of health, based on information from the World Health Survey carried out in Brazil in 2003. By combining information on mortality and morbidity into a unique indicator, simple to calculate and easy to interpret, the Sullivan method is currently the one most commonly used for estimating healthy life expectancy. The results show higher number of healthy years lost if there is a long-term disease or disability that limits daily activities, regardless of the difficulty in performing such activities or the severity of the functional limitations. The two measures of healthy life expectancy adjusted by the severity of functional limitation show results very similar to estimates based on the perception of state of health, especially in advanced age. It was also observed, for all measures used, that the proportion of healthy years lost increases significantly with age and that, although females have higher life expectancy than males, they live proportionally less years in good health.

Keywords : Chronic Diseases; Health Status; Life Expectancy; Years of Lost Life.

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