Office of Health Economics -
This paper investigates whether and how age affects respondents’ Time Trade-Off (TTO) and Visual Analogue Scale valuations of hypothetical EQ-5D health states using data from the 1993 MVH UK valuation study. A key finding is the existence of an inverse U-shaped age-utility pattern, with respondents in their forties tending to provide the highest TTO values, and the oldest respondents valuing health profiles systematically (and significantly) lower than younger age groups. This trend is particularly visible for profiles describing problems in the mobility or the self-care dimensions. It builds to a discussion on the possibility of using age-specific value sets in health technology assessments, since a technology may not be cost-effective on average but cost-effective for a sub-group whose preferences over health are more closely aligned to the benefits offered by the technology.