Leading Categories of Diseases/Disorders
The total burden of disability can be measured in units called disability-adjusted life years (DALYs). DALYs represent the total number of years lost to illness, disability, or premature death within a given population. They are calculated by adding the number of years of life lost to the number of years lived with disability for a certain disease or disorder.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates below represent broad categories of diseases/disorders, and the percentage each category contributes to the total DALYs for the United States and Canada. Neuropsychiatric disorders are the leading contributor to DALYs in this region, and they contribute nearly twice as many DALYS as cardiovascular diseases and cancers (malignant neoplasms).