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We assume that, at a certain period of time (for example, a given year), every living individual of a population on which we want to calculate the Sullivan indicator can be unambiguously described as being in exactly one of a fixed number of states of health.

Consider a collection of individuals classified in increasing W+1 age groups (numbered from i=0 to i=W) and a particular health state which has been located on some of them. Suppose you want to have a health indicator on the whole population which doesn't depend on its age structure. Using a common notation [4], let:

=number of survivors of age tex2html_wrap_inline992 (beginning of the age interval i). In other words, it is assumed that tex2html_wrap_inline1008 of every tex2html_wrap_inline1016 persons alive at age tex2html_wrap_inline1018 will survive until age tex2html_wrap_inline992 .

=number of person years (see section 3.2.1) lived in the age group i. That is to say the number of years lived by the tex2html_wrap_inline1008 persons in the interval i. Each member of the cohort who survives the interval i contributes tex2html_wrap_inline1032 to tex2html_wrap_inline1022 , each member of the cohort who have died during the interval i contributes only a part of that time.

=prevalence of the particular health state for age group i (that is to say the percentage of persons in this health state in the whole population of the age interval i).

The health state indicator proposed by Sullivan can be calculated as:


Values of tex2html_wrap_inline994 can be estimated from a cross-sectional health survey on the whole population. tex2html_wrap_inline1016 and tex2html_wrap_inline1022 are provided by an ordinary current life tablegif.

Eric Hauet
Fri Apr 25 22:40:35 DFT 1997