US norms for six generic health-related quality-of-life indexes from the National Health Measurement study

Med Care. 2007 Dec;45(12):1162-70. doi: 10.1097/MLR.0b013e31814848f1.


Background: A number of indexes measuring self-reported generic health-related quality-of-life (HRQoL) using preference-weighted scoring are used widely in population surveys and clinical studies in the United States.

Objective: To obtain age-by-gender norms for older adults on 6 generic HRQoL indexes in a cross-sectional US population survey and compare age-related trends in HRQoL.

Methods: The EuroQol EQ-5D, Health Utilities Index Mark 2, Health Utilities Index Mark 3, SF-36v2 (used to compute SF-6D), Quality of Well-being Scale self-administered form, and Health and Activities Limitations index were administered via telephone interview to each respondent in a national survey sample of 3844 noninstitutionalized adults age 35-89. Persons age 65-89 and telephone exchanges with high percentages of African Americans were oversampled. Age-by-gender means were computed using sampling and poststratification weights to adjust results to the US adult population.

Results: The 6 indexes exhibit similar patterns of age-related HRQoL by gender; however, means differ significantly across indexes. Females report slightly lower HRQoL than do males across all age groups. HRQoL seems somewhat higher for persons age 65-74 compared with people in the next younger age decade, as measured by all indexes.

Conclusions: Six HRQoL measures show similar but not identical trends in population norms for older US adults. Results reported here provide reference values for 6 self-reported HRQoL indexes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Surveys*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life*
  • Sex Distribution
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Whites