Adult wellness JSNA

Healthy life expectancy

Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) identifies key issues affecting the health and wellbeing of our residents, both now and in the future.

Healthy life expectancy is a very important measure of population health. For female residents of the borough of Rochdale, it is 58.5 years and for males 57.4 (Office for National Statistics, 2018-20). These expectancies are both below the national rates of 63.9 and 63.1 respectively.

What is healthy life expectancy and disability free life expectancy?

Measures of health expectancies add a quality of life component to the standard estimates of life expectancy by dividing expected lifespan into time spent in different states of health (Office of National Statistics, 2018).

The Office of National Statistics publishes 2 types of health expectancies; healthy life expectancy and disability free life expectancy. Healthy life expectancy is an estimate of the years of life spent in "Very good" or "Good" health based on how individuals perceive their general health. Disability-free life expectancy estimates years of life free from a limiting illness or disability.

Why is healthy life expectancy important?

Both health expectancies are summary measures of population health and important indicators of the well-being of society, providing context to the impacts of policy changes and interventions at both national and local levels.

Health expectancies are used across public, private and voluntary sectors in the assessment of healthy ageing, fitness for work, monitoring health improvement, extensions to the state pension age, pension provision and health and social care need.

If healthy life expectancy is considerably below the overall life expectancy in an area, then it indicates a population that develops long term conditions earlier in their lifetime. Consequently, this can lead to both men and women living in poor health for many years.

The importance of healthy life expectancy as a measure of population health is reflected in its inclusion in the high level outcomes for the Public Health Outcomes Framework.

Statistics on healthy life expectancy