Status-Based Estimates of Active Life Expectancy by Type of Initial Limitation
Scott M. Lynch, Princeton University
J. Scott Brown, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Estimates of Active Life Expectancy (ALE) are generally population-based, meaning that they specify the remaining active life an individual with or without limitations can expect to have. Furthermore, in most disability research, limitation items—Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)—are treated interchangeably, such that any particular ADL is sufficient to define an individual as being disabled. In recent previous research, we produced population-based ALE estimates for each particular ADL limitation in order to determine the length of life individuals can expect to live free from each limitation. Here, we use Bayesian multistate life table methods applied to National Health Epidemiologic Followup Survey Data to generate status-based ALE estimates for persons with each particular ADL. Such tables reveal the effect of being in a particular disabled state on future active and total life expectancy. Results reveal considerable variation in these quantities across specific limitations. Implications for research on ALE are discussed.