This section summarises the key measures that are frequently used to give an overview of the health of a population, including life expectancy and all cause mortality.
Life expectancy at birth is often used as a measure of the health of a population. It is calculated as the average number of years a newborn baby might be expected to live based on current trends. Life expectancy in England has increased over the last century and this general trend is continuing as health services and the wider determinants of health generally improve.
All Age All Cause Mortality (AAACM) rates are also used as a proxy measure for life expectancy. When all age all cause mortality rates improve, life expectancy can be expected to improve. Of particular interest are causes of death amongst the under 75s, because deaths in this age group are defined as premature.
However, it should be noted that not all interventions will impact on AAACM and Life Expectancy equally. Some interventions will affect one measure more than the other.