Released in Washington, D.C. and Geneva, Switzerland
4 June 2000
WHO Issues New Healthy Life Expectancy Rankings
Japan Number One in New ‘Healthy Life’ System
Japanese have the longest healthy life expectancy of 74.5 years among 191 countries, versus less than 26 years for the lowest-ranking country of Sierra Leone, based on a new way to calculate healthy life expectancy developed by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Previously, life expectancy estimates were based on the overall length of life based on mortality data
For the first time, the WHO has calculated healthy life expectancy for babies born in 1999 based upon an indicator developed by WHO scientists, Disability Adjusted Life Expectancy (DALE). DALE summarizes the expected number of years to be lived in what might be termed the equivalent of “full health.”
To calculate DALE, the years of ill-health are weighted according to severity and subtracted from the expected overall life expectancy to give the equivalent years of healthy life. (…more)