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Summary Measures of Health Status


Summary measures of health status are statistics that use mortality data, or combine mortality and morbidity data to represent overall population health in a single number. Examples of summary measures include general health status and healthy days measures from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) surveys, life expectancy, and years of potential life lost (YPLL). Measures that combine mortality and morbidity include health-adjusted life years (HALYs) or health-adjusted life expectancy (HALE), quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), years of healthy life (YHLs), and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs).

Why It's Important

Bergner and Rothman have suggested that health status assessment measures serve four different functions, including examination of the health of general populations, clinical interventions and their effects, changes in the health care delivery system, and health promotion activities and their effects.

How It's Tracked

A description of Life Expectancy calculation may be found on the Life Expectancy resource page in NM-IBIS.