This is the first report in the Australian Burden of Disease Study series. It provides estimates of fatal burden for 2010 showing the contribution of each disease group by age and sex. The three leading disease groups were Cancer (35%), Cardiovascular diseases (23%) and Injuries (13%), and these contributed more than 70% of total fatal burden.
Burden of disease analysis is a way to simultaneously count and compare the fatal and non-fatal impacts of different diseases and injuries. It uses information from multiple data sources to quantify the impact on a population of illness and premature death from all diseases and injuries. It uses a summary measure, the DALY (disability-adjusted life year), to describe the resulting health loss. One (1) DALY represents 1 year of healthy life lost, either through premature death or from living with an illness or injury.
The last Australian national burden of disease study was published in 2007, using 2003 data (Begg et al. 2007). An analysis of the burden of disease in Indigenous Australians was last undertaken for 2003 (Vos et al. 2007). This update of Australian estimates builds on methodological developments in recent global and country burden of disease studies, modified for the Australian context. This report provides estimates of fatal burden for Australia for 2010; that is, the component of the DALY resulting from premature death. The results in this report are described for broad disease groups, age and sex.