EQ-5D-3L Norms for the European Older Population: Country-Specific Norms for 15 European Countires Based on the Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe

Published:November 14, 2022DOI:


      • Enabling older people—the largest population group in most European countries—to sustain or add quality to years of life in old age challenges many countries.
      • The EQ-5D measures the impact of health on quality of life. Although it is often used in population health surveys, older adults have rarely been differentiated in general population surveys using EQ-5D. This study provides a 3-level version of the EQ-5D population norm data for the 50-plus-year-old Europeans using the cross-sectional Study of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe data.
      • These can serve as a reference that may help researchers and healthcare practitioners benchmark and interpret their results, inform policy, and support health decisions.



      This study presents a country-specific 3-level version of EQ-5D population norms for the European older population.


      Norm data were obtained from the fourth wave of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, and determined, for each EQ-5D dimension, the EQ–visual analog scale (EQ-VAS) and EQ-5D index values by 7 age groups and sex for 15 European countries. The EQ-5D index values were calculated using the European VAS value set for all countries.


      Data resulting from 50 013 older respondents (mean age 65.9 years, range 50-111 years, 55.6% women) revealed an increasing number of self-reported health problems on EQ-5D dimensions and decreasing EQ-VAS scores with increasing age and for women compared with men. There are notable differences between countries in terms of the age gradient, the proportion of respondents in full health, and sex. Across all age groups, problems with pain & discomfort are the most frequent (36%-73% any problems), whereas problems with self-care are the least frequent (3%-31% any problems). The mean EQ-VAS score is 71.2 and the mean European VAS score is 0.79.


      Given the growing number of older adults and elderly people in Europe, these population norms provide a valuable source of reference data that can be used to compare older adults or patient subgroups to the average of the general elderly population in a similar age or sex group in 15 European countries. The index value results may be further used to assess the burden of disease across older European populations and to identify the unmet needs of targeted older patient populations.


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