Influenza ranked highest in burden of disease measured in DALYs

news

Influenza tops list of burden of disease and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) with 30% of total burden, according to Eurosurveillance article.

burden of disease measured in DALYs 2018
Bubble chart of the burden of selected infectious diseases in terms of mortality and incidence, EU/EEA countries, 2009–2013

Among the 31 infectious diseases in the article “Impact of infectious diseases on population health using incidence-based disability-adjusted life years (DALYs): results from the Burden of Communicable Diseases in Europe study, European Union and European Economic countries, 2009 to 2013” published in Eurosurveillance, influenza tops the list in burden of disease and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) study (30% of total burden). Other diseases that ranked high were tuberculosis, HIV and invasive pneumococcal disease.

The burden of disease calculations used in this study is “based on disease surveillance data and encapsulates each diseases’ incidence, mortality and morbidity in a single metric, the DALYs”.

“This is the first study comparing the incidence-based burden of 31 infectious diseases by ranking them according to their impact,” according to lead author and ECDC expert Alessandro Cassini. Highlighting the study’s significance in public health and disease surveillance, he adds “This article quantifies the magnitude of the burden of 31 infectious diseases by age and sex and is based on a critical assessment of epidemiological data.”

The results of this study can assist public health agencies and policy makers in making evidence-based decisions regarding allocating resources in healthcare protection and disease prevention measures. Assessment of interventions in the areas of immunisation, food and water safety, and clinical care are some of the examples where burden of disease data can be useful.

The Burden of Communicable Disease in Europe (BCoDE) toolkit

In 2015, ECDC released the Burden of Communicable Disease in Europe (BCoDE) toolkit, a software which calculates DALYs of 32 infectious diseases and six healthcare associated infections. Download the toolkit here.