Global Burden of Disease

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The term "global burden of disease" was coined by epidemiologists and economists who were studying international variations in the patterns of disability-adjusted life expectancy for the World Bank in 1993. They used the term as a numerical indicator of the impact of all forms of illness and disability on the expectancy of remaining years of healthy life in the population of a country, or in age- or sexspecific or other segments of the population. The global burden of disease is calculated by using nationally available data on life expectancy and on major varieties of disability. It is therefore a rather insensitive indicator, albeit a very useful one. Details on the method of calculation appear in the World Bank's World Development Report for 1993.

John M. Last

(see also: Descriptive Study; Epidemiology; Life Expectancy and Life Tables; Years of Potential Life Lost [YPLL] )