Ugeskr Læger 2005;167(02): 166-8
Summary Social differences in expected lifetime spent in good health in Copenhagen, Denmark Ugeskr Læger 2005;167: 166-8 Introduction: The concept of health expectancy is based on the average person's lifetime in various health states. The purpose of this study was to compare life expectancy and expected lifetime in various states of health among inhabitants of Copenhagen in groups of high, medium and low educational levels. Materials and methods: Data from the Copenhagen Health Profile 2000 and life tables for various educational groups in Copenhagen were combined using Sullivan's method. Results: Life expectancy was 7.4 years longer for 30-year-old men with a high educational level than for those with a low level. At age 30, the percentage of expected lifetime in self-rated good health was 56.8%, 67.4% and 72.6% for men with a low, medium and high educational level, respectively. Among 30-year-old women, the difference in life expectancy between low and high educational levels was 4.8 years, and the proportion of expected lifetime in self-rated good health was 55.1% at the low and 72.0% at the high educational level. The expected lifetime without a long-lasting illness increased with educational level but less distinctly for women than for men, whereas the years expected to be spent with a long-lasting illness differed only slightly with the level of education. Discussion: The educational attainment of Copenhageners is clearly related to their life expectancies and even more to the time they can expect to live in good health.