Sub-committee on Policy relevance

The work of this sub-committee will be divided into three phases.

A first step will be the achieve-ment of a common understanding of the policy relevance of the health expectancy indicator. Questions such as: What developments in population health explain the increasing importance of health expectancy as an integral health measure? Who may use these indicators and to what purposes? For which questions will the indicator provide a response and for which questions is it of lesser relevance? How is the health expectancy indicator already being used in European countries? Which examples of present use may throw light on (future) policy relevant use? etc. will be dealt with. The discussion will be supported by the results of an inventory throughout European countries about present use of the health expectancy indicator.

The central aim of the second phase is - given the results of the first phase - to reflect on the harmonization of concepts. Concepts of health, impairments, disabilities, handicaps, quality of life and their relation to the health expectancy indicator will be discussed. Of course, relevant work which has already been done by organizations such as WHO / ICIDH, the Consultation meetings of WHO / Central Bureau of Statistics in the Netherlands, Euroqual and the international REVES group will be taken into account.

The aim of the third phase is to provide a frame of reference to the EURO-REVES network in making decisions about the different types of policy relevance to be distinguished and the concepts, instruments and survey methods to be used for the future health expectancy calculations in Europe.

The first meeting of EURO-REVES will be organized by TNO Prevention and Health and will be held in Leiden (the Netherlands) in week 23 of 1995. Participation in the meeting will be on invitation. In as far as no national teams are already known, the organization will seek representatives of central bureaus of statistics, researchers and policy makers in European countries interested in or already busy with health expectancy calculations. People who think they may give useful suggestions for the list of participants are requested to give notice to the organization (see address below).

Harry P.A. van de Water


Harry P.A. van de Water

Head National and International Public Health Research at TNO Prevention and Health

P.O.Box 2215

2301 CE Leiden

The Netherlands

Phone: + 31 71 181 778

Fax: + 31 71 176 382


Sub-committee on Mental Health

Over the past four years the mental health sub-committee of REVES has attempted to explore the area of mental health expec-tancies with a view to ascertai-ning whether Kramer's prediction of a "coming pandemic of mental disorders and associated chronic diseases and disabilities" was likely to be a realistic scenario.

The sub-committee has given priority to the mental health problems of senile dementia, de-pression, mental retardation and schizophrenia as the conditions whose prevalence is most likely to be affected by the decreases in mortality seen over the past decade.

The first calculations of mental health expectancy have concerned the senile dementias. These has been given priority as the age-related mental disorder most likely to reach epidemic propor-tions as average life expectancy continues to rise. Calculations of dementia-free life expectancy have now been made for France, for three geographical locations in the United Kingdom, for Belgium and for Australia. These studies show surprisingly similar results due to increasing standardization of diagnostic criteria for senile dementia, since the 1980's.

The mental health sub-committee of EURO-REVES aims to bring together mental health representa-tives from all European countries, the European Office of the Mental Health Division of the WHO and the World Psychiatric Association to work together on a number of common goals:

i) to establish the mental health priorities in each European country and determine areas likely to be most affected by projected demographic changes;

ii) to propose standardized mea-sures for these disorders suitable both for epidemiological studies and national health surveys;

iii) to obtain information relating to existing data bases, and mental health surveys in progress, in each of the participating European countries;

iv) to initiate mental health calcu-lations in member countries and establish a European data base which will facilitate cross-national comparisons.

The annual Mental Health sub-committee meetings will take place immediately after the general EURO-REVES meeting in the same location. The sub-committee is presently seeking suitable representatives from each European country who would be willing to participate in the work of the network. Interested persons should contact either K. Ritchie or C. Jagger.

Karen Ritchie


Carol Jagger

University of Leicester

Dept Epidemiology and Public Health

Clinical Sciences Building

P.O. Box 65

LE2 7LX Leicester

United Kingdom

Tel:44 (533) 52 32 11-Fax:44 (533) 52 32 72

Karen Ritchie

INSERM/Equipe vieillissement cognitif

Centre Val d'Aurelle

Parc EuromŽdecine

34298 Montpellier cedex 5


Tel: (33) 67 61 30 26 -Fax: (33) 67 61 30 47

The work programme of

EURO-REVES is available

on request from the

general coordination

Sub-committee on methodology

The sub-committee on research design and calculations methods will work according to five different phases: collection of information on Health survey designs, collection on mortality data, analysis and classification of actual methodologies of calculation of health life tables and indexes, report from 2 experts, organization of the third EURO-REVES meeting to discuss the report and accept the final design.

Phase I: During the initial phase, the sub-committee will collect information on most health surveys in Europe with a particular focus on sample size, age concerned, length of the questionnaire, interval between survey waves, sampling method and cost. Other famous Health surveys such as the US LSOA or Australian health Surveys, or even surveys with close methodology, such as longitudinal labor force surveys, will be included in the collection.

The collection and a background paper will be compiled by a doctoral student in exchange for a research grant. The report will be prepared for the EURO-REVES central meeting. During the collection amongst NIS or other institutes, a particular effort will be made to find EURO-REVES representatives in the few countries of the Union where health expectancy research is only starting.

Phase II: Previous REVES meetings have pointed out that difficulties in the computation of health expectancies derive also from unknown difficulties in the computation of classical life tables, particularly at oldest ages. During this phase, the sub-committee will collect from NIS, EUROSTAT, or Research Centers, data and methodology on mortality analysis useful for the computation of national health expectancy indexes. Computation of health expectancy when a particular cause of death and morbidity is suppressed (Mathers, 1992) is also an important subject, which justifies a link to the WHO database on mortality by cause of death.

A report on the possibility offered by national legislations amongst European Union countries to link the causes of death to disability status will be prepared. Data on the oldest old, for example centenarians, demographic panels, etc, required for the design of health surveys will be collected if available. Demographic data on population by age, sex, marital status will be accessible from the network as a basis. Simple methodological texts will also be accessible from the network.

Phase III: Methodological papers on the computation of health life tables and their various indexes will be collected from the international litterature. Sullivan's method, double decrement life tables, multistate life tables will be described in a technical paper. Each national team will be asked for a contribution in the technical paper. The background paper will try to link the different methodologies with the data required for such a computation and the cost and timing of such a survey. It will be presented for the EURO-REVES central meeting. NIS members and other sub-committee members are required to alter and complete this third background paper.

Phase IV: The first two background papers and the third amended paper will then be submitted to two independant internationally well-known statis-tical experts for analysis and production of reports on the final design.

Phase V: The sub-committee will undertake the organization of the last EURO-REVES central meeting where both expert reports will be presented by their authors. During this 2 day meeting, the reports will be discussed and a final design will be submitted to all members for adoption.

Data, tables, reports, graphs, etc collected by EURO-REVES will be accessible (whether the information collected can be put in the required form) from the international network through Gopher (University of Minnesota) in the same way as International Organizations give access to their data bases. Gopher is a public domain software, running on any Personal Computer as on Work stations. The EURO-REVES data base will run on a Unix server based at the Institut National d'Etudes DŽmographiques (INED, Paris) for the period concerned by the Concerted Action.

Nicolas Brouard


Nicolas Brouard

Institut National d'Etudes DŽmographiques

27, Rue du Commandeur

75675 Paris cedex 14


Tel: 33 (1) 42 18 21 08

Fax: 33 (1) 42 18 21 99

General coordination

The general coordination will work together with the sub-committees to the achievement of the three broad aims which have to be met in the period concerned by the Concerted Action, that is to say:

(1) The development of guide-lines for the construction and calculation of health expectancies with a view to European harmoni-zation of concepts, data collec-tion, and calculation methods.

(2) The provision of a European data base on health expectancies from the calculations made by members of the Concerted Action teams which may be put at the disposition of individuals and organizations involved in health research and development programmes.

(3) The preparation of a reference document describing concepts, questionnaires and calculation methods which may be used as a basis for the further promotion of calculations by other countries both within and outside Europe.

In practice, the general coor-dination will:

(a) Collect health reports from all countries for which such a report exists, as well as information on health surveys, in order to set up an international documentary fund on the subject;

(b) Go on collecting international information on health expectancy calculations;

(c) Organize regular meetings of the steering committee in order to insure the combined consistency between the three sub-committees. The first one was held in Montpellier in October 1994 and examined the necessary conditions for a good collabo-ration between the sub-committees and with the general coordination. The second meeting is programmed for the end of February 1995;

(d) Publish a newsletter distributed to all EURO-REVES members as well as members of European NIS and researchers involved in health measure and health expectancy calculations. This first newslettter gives information on the work program-me of the network, the next will inform on advances of its work and on events such as general and sub-committee meetings announ-cement and reports;

(e) Undertake the compilation of the general recommendations of the three sub-committees and the working papers which will form the basis of a document 'European Standards for the Calculation of Health Expectancies'.

Isabelle Romieu


Isabelle Romieu

INSERM/Equipe démographie et santé

Centre Val d'Aurelle

Parc Euromédecine

34298 Montpellier Cedex5


Tel: 33 (67) 61 30 27

Fax: 33 (67) 61 30 47

Project leader:

Jean-Marie Robine

INSERM/Equipe démographie et santé

Centre Val d'Aurelle

Parc Euromédecine

34298 Montpellier Cedex5


Tel: 33 (67) 61 30 43

Fax: 33 (67) 61 30 47

euro reves Newsletter n°1

Sub-committee on Policy relevance EuroReves Newsletter n¡1

Sub-commitee on Demencia EuroReves Newsletter n°1

euro reves Newsletter n°1

Sub-commitee on Demencia EuroReves Newsletter n°1

euro reves Newsletter n°1

Sub-commitee on Demencia EuroReves Newsletter n°1

EuroReves Newsletter n°1

Correspondance : Isabelle Romieu, INSERM,

Centre Val d'Aurelle, 34298 Montpellier cedex 5, France

Tel: (33) 67 61 30 27 ; Fax: (33) 67 61 30 47