Burden of disease

The impact of disease in a population. An approach to the analysis of health problems, including loss of healthy years of life. It is an important concept for public health and for other professions interested in the societal impact of ill-health, including injuries and disabilities. It may be expressed as lost Healthy Life Years (HeaLYs), Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALYs), or Quality-Adjusted Life Years (QALYs). Use of indicators that integrate the societal burden caused by both death and morbidity allows for the comparison of the burden due to various risk factors or diseases.

Source: Porta M. A Dictionary of Epidemiology. 5th ed. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 2008.

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