Background National burden of disease studies are crucial for informing national health policies. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) constitute the highest burden. Such comprehensive analyses of NCDs burden are not explicitly documented for the Republic of Ireland (RoI). We analysed the five most common NCDs and their related risk factors for RoI based on the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study.
Methods Data on five NCDs (cardiovascular; stroke; respiratory disorders, cancers and diabetes) and five risk factors (alcohol, smoking, physical inactivity, obesity and diet) were abstracted from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (United States). The following metrics were computed: years of life lost due to premature mortality (YLLs) – a product of total deaths at each age and the reference life expectancy at that age; years lived with disability (YLDs) – a product of prevalence and disability weight; disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) – the sum of YLDs and YLLs; and healthy life expectancy (HALE) – a summary measure of overall population health. These estimates were based on total disease conditions and risk factors, thus analysed on the GBD study.
Results The five NCDs studied had the largest YLLs for both 1990 and 2010 but YLLs decreased in 2010 relative to 1990. Of these five NCDs, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and diabetes contributed to the highest YLDs (each contributing approximately 3.0% to total YLDs). YLLs were higher among men compared to women in both the time periods: in 1990 these were 27.9% vs. 21.0% (ischaemic heart disease), 5.1% vs.4.3% (COPD), 6% vs. 4.0% (lung cancer); and, 18.9% vs. 13.9%, 3.5% vs. 3.8%, 6.7% vs. 5.7% in 2010, respectively. The five risk factors contributed to a total of 38.7% (1990) and 28.4% (2010) of the DALYs- dietary risks (18. 7% in 1990 and 11.9% in 2010),smoking (11.7% in 1990 and 7.5% in 2010), obesity (7.6% in 1990 and 2. 9% in 2010), alcohol use (0.7% in 1990 and 0.8% in 2010), and physical inactivity (5.3% in 2010). The life expectancy at birth increased from 72 to 78 years (in men) and from 78 to 83 years (in women) between 1990 and 2010.
Conclusion From 1990 to 2010, the Republic of Ireland has made substantial progress in improving population health in terms of NCDs and their associated risk factors, thus contributing to the health and well-being of the Irish population. The study findings are an important addition towards informing and directing the Healthy Ireland national strategy.
- NCDs risk factors Ireland