Leading Individual 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 show the leading individual diseases and disorders that contribute to total number of DALYs in the United States and Canada. This is in contrast to the previous chart that compared broad categories of diseases and disorders. Within this region, depression is the leading individual contributor to DALYs, followed by ischaematic heart disease, and alcohol use disorders.


Leading individual diseases/disorders.  Burden of disease in terms of percent of total disability-adjusted life years (DALYs)in U.S. and Canada.  Leading individual disease/disorder contributors
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