State-Specific Healthy Life Expectancy at Age 65 Years — United States, 2007–2009

CDC: July 19, 2013

Healthy life expectancy (HLE) is a population health measure that combines mortality data with morbidity or health status data to estimate expected years of life in good health for persons at a given age. HLE accounts for quantity and quality of life and can be used to describe and monitor the health status of populations. HLE estimates for countries have been used for predicting future health service needs, evaluating health programs, and identifying trends and inequalities (1), but to date, few studies have reported HLE at the state level for the United States (2). To determine state-level estimates, CDC used data from the National Vital Statistics Systems (NVSS), U.S. Census Bureau, and Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) to calculate HLEs for persons aged 65 years, by sex and race, for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia (DC). Those calculations indicate that, during 2007–2009, females had a greater HLE than males at age 65 years in every state and DC. HLE was greater for whites than for blacks in all states from which sufficient data were available and DC, except in Nevada and New Mexico. These results can be used as a baseline for states to monitor changes in the HLE of persons aged 65 years as they age and identify health disparities among subpopulations. Read more