Disease burden


Disease burden

Disease burden is the impact of a health problem in an area measured by financial cost, mortality, morbidity, or other indicators. It is often quantified in terms of quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) or disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), which combine the burden due to both death and morbidity into one index. This allows for the comparison of the disease burden due to various risk factors or diseases. It also makes it possible to predict the possible impact of health interventions.

The World Health Organization (WHO) provides a detailed explanation[1] of how disease burden is measured at national or local levels for various environmental issues.

A related concept used by WHO is YLD, years lost due to disability, which takes into account individuals' relative severity of health loss. YLD measure the equivalent years of healthy life lost through time spent in states of less than full health. In 2004, the leading cause of YLD worldwide for both men and women was unipolar depressive disorders.[2]

References


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