Health statistics and information systems

Global Burden of Disease (GBD)

WHO has prepared a comprehensive and consistent set of DALY estimates for years 2000–2012, consistent with and incorporating United Nations (UN) agency, interagency and WHO estimates for population, births, all-cause deaths and specific causes of death as well as WHO estimates for some specific diseases and analyses carried out for the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2010 study of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) and other academic partners. The summary of WHO DALY estimates are available here, and the summary of data sources and methods of is available here.

The overall burden of disease is assessed using the disability-adjusted life year (DALY), a time-based measure that combines years of life lost due to premature mortality (YLLs) and years of life lost due to time lived in states of less than full health, or years of healthy life lost due to disability (YLDs).

WHO has adopted the simpler form of DALY used in the GBD 2010 study. Age-weighting and time discounting are dropped, and the YLDs are calculated from prevalence estimates rather than incidence estimates. The WHO DALY estimates also incorporate some revisions to disability weights and epidemiological estimates, as well as a new WHO standard life table for calculation of YLLs.

For results of IHME GBD 2010 study, please visit the IHME website. In some areas, the results of the GBD differ substantially from analyses done by WHO and other UN agencies. In many other areas, the GBD results update and are broadly similar to previous WHO analyses.