Summary Measures of Population Health
Concepts, Ethics, Measurement and Applications
Nonserial Publication
Murray, C.J.L., Salomon, J.A., Mathers, C.D., Lopez, A.D.
World Health Organization
ISBN-13    9789241545518 ISBN-10    9241545518
Order Number    11500492
Price    CHF    50.00 / US$    60.00 Developing countries:    CHF    15.00
English     2002        798   pages
With increasing life expectancy, measuring population health levels on the basis of mortality rates alone has become less and less relevant in many populations. At the same time, societies invest substantial resources in promoting healthy life, in addition to preventing premature death. But how effective have these efforts been? What is the appropriate metric to measure health life expectancy, or, for that matter, the contribution of different diseases and injuries to potential years of healthy life that are lost due to their occurrence? This book addresses the various approaches and viewpoints as to how mortality and ill-health might be combined into a single index to measure overall population health. The various uses of such summary measures of population health are described, and the appropriate measurement framework and specific ethical and social value choices are discussed and debated. The contributors include leading experts in epidemiological methods, ethics, health economics, health status measurement and the valuation of health states. Summary measures of population health are likely to become increasingly topical and debated and this volume will serve as the fundamental reference for their construction and use for scholars across all public health disciplines.

"The development of summary measures of population health is of utmost importance .... they force us to define exactly the required epidemiological input on mortality and disability, to stimulate the application of uniform classifications and the collection of missing information, and to systematically check the internal consistency of the epidemiological information on specific diseases. Thus, apart from setting health and research agendas they also set agendas for international comparative data collection and epidemiological research."
Dr Paul van der Maas, Department of Public Health, Erasmus University