A convenient approximation of life expectancy (the "DEALE"). II. Use in medical decision-making

Am J Med. 1982 Dec;73(6):889-97. doi: 10.1016/0002-9343(82)90787-2.


We show how to use a bedside approximation of life expectancy in quantitative decision-making. This method, the declining exponential approximation of life expectancy (DEALE), enables the physician to collate various survival data with information on morbidity to determine a quality-adjusted expected survival for a potential management plan. The keystone in the DEALE approach is the approximation of survival by a simple exponential function. This approximation makes it possible to translate data from various literature sources (life expectancy tables, five-year survival rates, survival curves, median survival) into a single, unified mortality scale. In this paper, we use the DEALE method to obtain approximations of quality-adjusted life expectancy and illustrate the application of the method in a quantitative analysis of a clinical decision.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Colectomy
  • Colonic Neoplasms / mortality
  • Coronary Artery Bypass
  • Coronary Disease / mortality
  • Diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Life Expectancy*
  • Male
  • Mathematics
  • Risk