Reflection on modern methods: years of life lost due to premature mortality-a versatile and comprehensive measure for monitoring non-communicable disease mortality.

07:00 EST 9th January 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Reflection on modern methods: years of life lost due to premature mortality-a versatile and comprehensive measure for monitoring non-communicable disease mortality."

The analysis of causes impacting on premature mortality is an essential function of public health surveillance. Diverse methods have been used for accurately assessing and reporting the level and trends of premature mortality; however, many have important limitations, particularly in capturing actual early deaths. We argue that the framework of years of life lost (YLL), as conceptualized in disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs), is a robust and comprehensive measure of premature mortality. Global Burden of Disease study is systematically providing estimates of YLL; however, it is not widely adopted at country level, among other reasons because its conceptual and methodological bases seem to be not sufficiently known and understood. In this paper, we provide the concepts and the methodology of the YLL framework, including the selection of the loss of function that defines the time lost due to premature deaths, and detailed methods for calculating YLL metrics. We also illustrate how to use YLL to quantify the level and trends of premature non-communicable disease (NCD) mortality in the Americas. The tutorial style of the illustrative example is intended to educate the public health community and stimulate the use of YLL in disease prevention and control programmes at different levels.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: International journal of epidemiology
ISSN: 1464-3685


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Measure of the burden of disease using the disability-adjusted-life-year (DALY). This time-based measure combines years of life lost due to premature mortality and years of life lost due to time lived in states of less than full health. The metric was developed to assess the burden of disease consistently across diseases, risk factors and regions.

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