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      Global, regional, and national disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) for 315 diseases and injuries and healthy life expectancy (HALE), 1990–2015: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015

      GBD 2015 DALYs and HALE Collaborators

      Lancet (London, England)

      Elsevier

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          Summary

          Background

          Healthy life expectancy (HALE) and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) provide summary measures of health across geographies and time that can inform assessments of epidemiological patterns and health system performance, help to prioritise investments in research and development, and monitor progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We aimed to provide updated HALE and DALYs for geographies worldwide and evaluate how disease burden changes with development.

          Methods

          We used results from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2015 (GBD 2015) for all-cause mortality, cause-specific mortality, and non-fatal disease burden to derive HALE and DALYs by sex for 195 countries and territories from 1990 to 2015. We calculated DALYs by summing years of life lost (YLLs) and years of life lived with disability (YLDs) for each geography, age group, sex, and year. We estimated HALE using the Sullivan method, which draws from age-specific death rates and YLDs per capita. We then assessed how observed levels of DALYs and HALE differed from expected trends calculated with the Socio-demographic Index (SDI), a composite indicator constructed from measures of income per capita, average years of schooling, and total fertility rate.

          Findings

          Total global DALYs remained largely unchanged from 1990 to 2015, with decreases in communicable, neonatal, maternal, and nutritional (Group 1) disease DALYs offset by increased DALYs due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Much of this epidemiological transition was caused by changes in population growth and ageing, but it was accelerated by widespread improvements in SDI that also correlated strongly with the increasing importance of NCDs. Both total DALYs and age-standardised DALY rates due to most Group 1 causes significantly decreased by 2015, and although total burden climbed for the majority of NCDs, age-standardised DALY rates due to NCDs declined. Nonetheless, age-standardised DALY rates due to several high-burden NCDs (including osteoarthritis, drug use disorders, depression, diabetes, congenital birth defects, and skin, oral, and sense organ diseases) either increased or remained unchanged, leading to increases in their relative ranking in many geographies. From 2005 to 2015, HALE at birth increased by an average of 2·9 years (95% uncertainty interval 2·9–3·0) for men and 3·5 years (3·4–3·7) for women, while HALE at age 65 years improved by 0·85 years (0·78–0·92) and 1·2 years (1·1–1·3), respectively. Rising SDI was associated with consistently higher HALE and a somewhat smaller proportion of life spent with functional health loss; however, rising SDI was related to increases in total disability. Many countries and territories in central America and eastern sub-Saharan Africa had increasingly lower rates of disease burden than expected given their SDI. At the same time, a subset of geographies recorded a growing gap between observed and expected levels of DALYs, a trend driven mainly by rising burden due to war, interpersonal violence, and various NCDs.

          Interpretation

          Health is improving globally, but this means more populations are spending more time with functional health loss, an absolute expansion of morbidity. The proportion of life spent in ill health decreases somewhat with increasing SDI, a relative compression of morbidity, which supports continued efforts to elevate personal income, improve education, and limit fertility. Our analysis of DALYs and HALE and their relationship to SDI represents a robust framework on which to benchmark geography-specific health performance and SDG progress. Country-specific drivers of disease burden, particularly for causes with higher-than-expected DALYs, should inform financial and research investments, prevention efforts, health policies, and health system improvement initiatives for all countries along the development continuum.

          Funding

          Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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          Most cited references 72

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          GBD 2010: design, definitions, and metrics.

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            Quantifying the burden of disease: the technical basis for disability-adjusted life years.

            Detailed assumptions used in constructing a new indicator of the burden of disease, the disability-adjusted life year (DALY), are presented. Four key social choices in any indicator of the burden of disease are carefully reviewed. First, the advantages and disadvantages of various methods of calculating the duration of life lost due to a death at each age are discussed. DALYs use a standard expected-life lost based on model life-table West Level 26. Second, the value of time lived at different ages is captured in DALYs using an exponential function which reflects the dependence of the young and the elderly on adults. Third, the time lived with a disability is made comparable with the time lost due to premature mortality by defining six classes of disability severity. Assigned to each class is a severity weight between 0 and 1. Finally, a three percent discount rate is used in the calculation of DALYs. The formula for calculating DALYs based on these assumptions is provided.
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              Healthy life expectancy for 187 countries, 1990-2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden Disease Study 2010.

              Healthy life expectancy (HALE) summarises mortality and non-fatal outcomes in a single measure of average population health. It has been used to compare health between countries, or to measure changes over time. These comparisons can inform policy questions that depend on how morbidity changes as mortality decreases. We characterise current HALE and changes over the past two decades in 187 countries. Using inputs from the Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD) 2010, we assessed HALE for 1990 and 2010. We calculated HALE with life table methods, incorporating estimates of average health over each age interval. Inputs from GBD 2010 included age-specific information for mortality rates and prevalence of 1160 sequelae, and disability weights associated with 220 distinct health states relating to these sequelae. We computed estimates of average overall health for each age group, adjusting for comorbidity with a Monte Carlo simulation method to capture how multiple morbidities can combine in an individual. We incorporated these estimates in the life table by the Sullivan method to produce HALE estimates for each population defined by sex, country, and year. We estimated the contributions of changes in child mortality, adult mortality, and disability to overall change in population health between 1990 and 2010. In 2010, global male HALE at birth was 58·3 years (uncertainty interval 56·7-59·8) and global female HALE at birth was 61·8 years (60·1-63·4). HALE increased more slowly than did life expectancy over the past 20 years, with each 1-year increase in life expectancy at birth associated with a 0·8-year increase in HALE. Across countries in 2010, male HALE at birth ranged from 27·9 years (17·3-36·5) in Haiti, to 68·8 years (67·0-70·4) in Japan. Female HALE at birth ranged from 37·1 years (26·9-43·7) in Haiti, to 71·7 years (69·7-73·4) in Japan. Between 1990 and 2010, male HALE increased by 5 years or more in 42 countries compared with 37 countries for female HALE, while male HALE decreased in 21 countries and 11 for female HALE. Between countries and over time, life expectancy was strongly and positively related to number of years lost to disability. This relation was consistent between sexes, in cross-sectional and longitudinal analysis, and when assessed at birth, or at age 50 years. Changes in disability had small effects on changes in HALE compared with changes in mortality. HALE differs substantially between countries. As life expectancy has increased, the number of healthy years lost to disability has also increased in most countries, consistent with the expansion of morbidity hypothesis, which has implications for health planning and health-care expenditure. Compared with substantial progress in reduction of mortality over the past two decades, relatively little progress has been made in reduction of the overall effect of non-fatal disease and injury on population health. HALE is an attractive indicator for monitoring health post-2015. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Lancet
                Lancet
                Lancet (London, England)
                Elsevier
                0140-6736
                1474-547X
                08 October 2016
                08 October 2016
                : 388
                : 10053
                : 1603-1658
                Author notes
                [†]

                Collaborators listed at the end of the Article

                Article
                S0140-6736(16)31460-X
                10.1016/S0140-6736(16)31460-X
                5388857
                27733283
                © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an Open Access article under the CC BY license

                This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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                Medicine

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