Write a minimum 500 word essay on "DALYs - disability-adjusted life years"

Write a minimum 500 word essay on "DALYs - disability-adjusted life years"

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The disability-adjusted life year (DALY) is a measure of overall disease burden, expressed as the number of years lost due to ill-health, disability or early death. It was developed in the 1990s as a way of comparing the overall health and life expectancy of different countries.

The DALY is becoming increasingly common in the field of public health and health impact assessment (HIA). It extends the concept of potential years of life lost due to premature death... to include equivalent years of 'healthy' life lost by virtue of being in states of poor health or disability. In so doing, mortality and morbidity are combined into a single, common metric.

The disability-adjusted life year is a societal measure of the disease or disability burden in populations. DALYs are calculated by combining measures of life expectancy as well as the adjusted quality of life during a burdensome disease or disability for a population. DALYs are related to the quality-adjusted life year (QALY) measure; however QALYs only measure the benefit with and without medical intervention and therefore do not measure the total burden. Also, QALYs tend to be an individual measure, and not a societal measure.

Traditionally, health liabilities were expressed using one measure, the years of life lost (YLL) due to dying early. A medical condition that did not result in dying younger than expected was not counted. The years lost due to disability (YLD) component measures the burden of living with a disease or disability. A crucial distinction among DALY studies has been the use of "age-weighting", in which the value of each year of life depends on age; however, the World Health Organization has abandoned age weighting and time discounting in DALYs since 2010

DALYs are calculated by taking the sum of these two components:


The methodology is not an economic measure. It measures how much healthy life is lost. It does not assign a monetary value to any person or condition, and it does not measure how much productive work or money is lost as a result of death and disease.

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