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Phua HP, Chua AVL, Ma S, Heng D, Chew SK
Correspondence: Dr Stefan Ma, email@example.com
Introduction The Singapore Burden of Disease (SBoD) Study 2004 provides a comprehensive and detailed assessment of the size and distribution of health problems in Singapore. It is the first local study to use disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) to quantify the total disease burden.
Methods The SBoD study applied the methods developed for the original Global Burden of Disease study to data specific to Singapore to compute the DALYs. DALY is a summary measure of population health that combines time lost due to premature mortality (years of life lost [YLL]) with time spent in ill-health (broadly-termed disability) arising from incident cases of disease or injury (years of life lost due to disability [YLD]). DALYs, stratified by gender and age group, were calculated for more than 130 specific health conditions for the Singapore resident population for the year 2004.
Results In 2004, diabetes mellitus, ischaemic heart disease and stroke were the top three leading causes of premature death and ill-health in Singapore, and together accounted for more than one-quarter (28 percent) of the total disease burden (in DALYs). Morbidity burden (YLD) was responsible for 52 percent of the total DALYs, with diabetes mellitus, anxiety and depression, and Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias being the main sources of the total YLDs. Ischaemic heart disease, stroke and lung cancer were the major contributors to the premature mortality burden (YLL).
Conclusion This study provides an objective and systematic assessment of the fatal and nonfatal health conditions in Singapore to support priority setting in public health policies and research.
Keywords: burden of disease, morbidity, population health problems, premature mortality, public health
Singapore Med J 2009; 50(5): 468-478