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Aim: To construct a simple assessment of the quality of life that can be used to evaluate medical treatment in light of the need to conserve resources and limit costs.Methods: The Göteborg Quality of Life Assessment was constructed in 1973 from the responses of men who were 50 years old at the time of the initial survey (1963) and were re-evaluated 10 years later. The assessment covers 15 factors in the World Health Organization definition of health or well-being, and includes a symptom questionnaire of 30 items relating to the most common elements of physical, mental and social well-being.Results: The assessment was validated by determining the variation in these three principle components of well-being as a function of age. The use of this assessment as an outcome variable for subjects with cardiovascular disease indicated significantly lower quality of life scores, especially with regard to the general well-being, fitness and energy of subjects with hypertension and congestive heart failure compared to subjects without these diseases. When the assessment was evaluated as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and mortality, the results of univariate analysis showed that health, fitness and appetite were significantly correlated with total mortality, while multivariate analysis indicated that only health was a significant factor.