Quantifying burden of disease to support public health policy in Belgium: opportunities and constraintsReport as inadecuate

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BMC Public Health

, 14:1196

Health policies, systems and management in high income countries.


BackgroundTo support public health policy, information on the burden of disease is essential. In recent years, the Disability-Adjusted Life Year DALY has emerged as the most important summary measure of public health. DALYs quantify the number of healthy life years lost due to morbidity and mortality, and thereby facilitate the comparison of the relative impact of diseases and risk factors and the monitoring of public health over time.

DiscussionEvidence on the disease burden in Belgium, expressed as DALYs, is available from international and national efforts. Non-communicable diseases and injuries dominate the overall disease burden, while dietary risks, tobacco smoking, and high body-mass index are the major risk factors for ill health. Notwithstanding these efforts, if DALYs were to be used for guiding health policy, a more systematic approach is required. By integrating DALYs in the current data generating systems, comparable estimates, rooted in recent local data, can be produced. This might however be hampered by several restrictions, such as limited harmonization, timeliness, inclusiveness and accessibility of current databases.

SummaryRoutine quantification of disease burden in terms of DALYs would provide a significant added value to evidence-based public health policy in Belgium, although some hurdles need to be cleared.

KeywordsBelgium Disease burden Disability-adjusted life years Health policy AbbreviationsDALEDisability-adjusted life expectancy

DALYDisability-adjusted life year

DFLEDisability-free life expectancy

DWDisability weight

ECDCEuropean centre for disease control

FBDFoodborne disease

GBDGlobal burden of disease

HLYHealthy life year

HRQoLHealth-related quality of life

IHMEInstitute for Health Metrics and Evaluation

SMPHSummary measure of public health

VITOFlemish Institute for Technology and Development

VMMFlemish Environment Agency

WHOWorld Health Organization

YLDYear lived with disability

YLLYear of life lost.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2458-14-1196 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Brecht Devleesschauwer - Charline Maertens de Noordhout - G Suzanne A Smit - Luc Duchateau - Pierre Dorny - Claudia Stein

Source: https://link.springer.com/


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