Utility scores for chronic conditions in a community-dwelling population

Pharmacoeconomics. 1999 Apr;15(4):369-76. doi: 10.2165/00019053-199915040-00004.


Objective: The objective of this study was to determine utility scores for various chronic conditions.

Design and setting: This study is a descriptive analysis. Health Utilities Index (HUI) scores for 20 chronic conditions were examined from the National Population Health Survey (NPHS) from 1994 to 1995.

Patients and participants: 17,626 individuals were surveyed (54.3% women). Chronic conditions included: acne (requiring medication), Alzheimer's disease, arthritis/rheumatism, asthma, back problems excluding arthritis, chronic bronchitis or emphysema, cancer, cataracts, diabetes, epilepsy, food allergies, glaucoma, heart disease, high blood pressure, migraine headaches, other allergies, sinusitis, stroke, stomach/intestinal ulcers and urinary incontinence.

Interventions: Health Utilities Index-Mark III (HUI-Mark III) scores for patients with and without a NPHS-defined chronic condition were collected. Utility scores were examined according to age, gender and comorbidity.

Main outcome measures and results: 42.6% of individuals reported having no NPHS-defined chronic condition. The most commonly reported health conditions were allergies other than food (17.6%) and rheumatism/arthritis (16.5%). The mean HUI-Mark III scores for patients without a health state was 0.933 +/- 0.079. Individuals with Alzheimer's disease (0.580 +/- 0.263), stroke (0.676 +/- 0.230) and urinary incontinence (0.698 +/- 0.230) had the lowest overall HUI-Mark III scores. Utility scores decreased as age and as the number of comorbid conditions increased.

Conclusions: This study provides health economists, researchers and policy-makers with a reference for health utilities of various chronic conditions, different age groups, gender and comorbidities.

MeSH terms

  • Canada
  • Chronic Disease / economics*
  • Health Resources / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • National Health Programs