Background: The analysis describes trends in the levels and social distribution of total life expectancy and healthy life expectancy in South Australia from 1999 to 2008.Methods: South Australian Burden of Disease series for the period 1999-2001 to 2006-2008 and across statistical local areas according to relative socioeconomic disadvantage were analyzed for changes in total life expectancy and healthy life expectancy by sex and area level disadvantage, with further decomposition of healthy life expectancy change by age, cause of death, and illness.Results: Total life expectancy at birth increased in South Australia for both sexes (2.0 years [2.6%] among males; 1.5 years [1.8%] among females). Healthy life expectancy also increased (1.4 years [2.1%] among males; 1.2 years [1.5%] among females). Total life and healthy life expectancy gains were apparent in all socioeconomic groups, with the largest increases in areas of most and least disadvantage. While the least disadvantaged areas consistently had the best health outcomes, they also experienced the largest increase in the amount of life expectancy lived with disease and injury-related illness.Conclusions: While overall gains in both total life and healthy life expectancy were apparent in South Australia, gains were greater for total life expectancy. Additionally, the proportion of expected life lived with disease and injury-related illness increased as disadvantage decreased. This expansion of morbidity occurred in both sexes and across all socio-economic groups.This analysis outlines the continuing improvements to population health outcomes within South Australia. It also highlights the challenge of reducing population morbidity so that gains to healthy life match those of total life expectancy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health