Updated: 1/27/2021

Health Status Indicators

Review Topic
  • Metrics to allow for surveillance and assessment of population-level health status
  • Provide crucial information
    • help set public health priorities and strategies
  • Indicate mortality, morbidity, and disability regarding specific diseases
Commonly-Used Health Indicators
Commonly Used Health Indicators 
Indicator Description Calculation/Equation
Quality-Adjusted Life Years (QALYs)
  • measure of burden of a particular disease
  • accounts for morbidity and mortality
  • years of life x utility value
  • utility value is calculated for each particular disease
    • range of 0 (death) to 1 (complete health) per year
    • e.g., if a patient lives for 2 years with a utility value of 0.25 (a quarter of complete health), the patient will have 0.5 QALYs
Disability-adjusted life years (DALYs)
  • accounts for years lost secondary to early mortality or years of disability
  • # years lost + # disabled years
    • in a population
    • due to a particular disease 
Potential years of life lost (PYLL)
  • total years of life that would have been lived if the patient had a normal life expectancy
  • typically use 65 as life expectancy
  • e.g., 65 - age at death from disease

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