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Centre for Health Economics, Alcuin ‘A' Block, University of York, Heslington, YORK, YO10 5DD, United Kingdom. E-mail:


The derivation of population norms using simple generic health-related quality of life measures to inform policy has been recommended in the literature. This letter illustrates the derivation of population norms for the SF-6D in the United Kingdom. It uses a sample of 22,166 respondents from the 2010 wave of the study Understanding Society. Understanding Society is a national representative sample of British citizens. The survey of this study contains the SF-12. It is possible to derive health state utilities from the SF-12 (and from the SF-36) using a relatively new instrument, the SF-6D. The SF-12 and the SF-36 belong to the most widely used generic health-related quality of life measures.

Mean SF-6D utility scores for males and females are 0.81 and 0.79, respectively. Especially the older age categories have lower utility scores. The younger age categories have slightly higher utility scores. From a list of 17 conditions, people with congestive heart failure had the lowest (0.60) and people with diabetes the highest (0.76) SF-6D scores. This letter encourages the health economics research community to derive SF-6D population norms to inform policy. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.