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Well-Being Index — The Dow Jones of Health

May 2, 2008   |   Alliance for Aging Research Team   |   Aging Research

Earlier this week, Gallup and Healthways released the first data from their collaborative Well-Being Index—a Dow Jones type measure of the daily health and well-being of American adults. Polling 1,000 Americans every day for the next 25 years, the Index will be the largest data collection ever assembled on the health and well-being of large populations.

Asking both objective and subjective questions, the Index gets at a very holistic measure of health—including physical, mental, and social well-being. It provides a “daily pulse” of health that can be analyzed based on geography, occupation, income, and other demographics. The goal is for the data to inform the health-care debate and allow for the tracking of trends, evaluation of health promotion efforts, and a better understanding of how health and well-being impact corporations and communities financially.

The first set of data from the index was released on April 29th and included 100,000 interviews. Already there are some really interesting findings:

Top-line data will continue to be released to the public and respondent-level data will be available for a subscription fee. While most of the data analysis so far has been focused on full-time workers in the 18-64 age range, hopefully in time researchers will use the dataset to do more analysis of 65+ Americans. I look forward to seeing more—this is definitely going to be an incredible resource!

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