The disability adjusted life year (DALY), a single indicator of the burden of disease, is widely used to measure the burden of diseases, injuries, and risk factors. In this study, we review the relative sizes of the burden of disease worldwide and the characteristics of the burden of disease of the Korean population. Future research directions for study of the burden of disease in Korea are also suggested. In the Korean population, diabetes mellitus was the leading cause of the burden of disease (970 DALYs per 100,000 population) in 2002, followed by cerebrovascular disease (937 DALYs per 100,000 population) and asthma (709 DALYs per 100,000 population), which differed with the leading causes of the burden of disease globally: unipolar depressive disorder, ischemic heart disease, and cerebrovascular disease. In 2007, cirrhosis of the liver in males and cerebrovascular disease in females became the leading causes of the burden of disease of the Korean population with the epidemiologic transition. Despite the methodological difference with global burden of disease study, these findings represent the characteristics of the burden of disease in Korea. Though many studies have been conducted to measure the burden of disease in Korea, there is a need to go beyond these to combine policymaking for resource allocation, such as cost effectiveness analysis, with burden of disease studies.
- Cost of illness
- Disability adjusted life year
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