Background By March 2020, COVID-19 cases were confirmed globally. Internationally, variations in estimates relating to the ‘direct’ effect of COVID-19 on population health have been reported. The key to standardising comparisons between nations is to quantify the total effect of COVID-19’s morbidity and mortality, using a standardised methodology. The Burden of Disease (BoD) frameworks achieve this using a summary metric, the ‘Disability-Adjusted- Life- Years’ (DALYs).
Methods Our DALYs are estimates of summing the ‘Years-of-Life-Lost’ (YLLs) and the ‘Years- Lost due to Disability’ (YLD) for the ‘direct’ burden of COVID-19 in the Republic of Ireland (RoI) from March 01, 2020, to February 28, 2021. Life expectancy was based on the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Study life tables for 2019.
Results There were 220,273 cases of COVID-19 and 4,500 related deaths within this study’s parameters. DALYs were estimated to be 51,532.1 (95% Uncertainty Intervals [UI] 50,671.6, 52,294.3). Overall, YLL contributed to 98.7% of the DALYs. Of total symptomatic cases, 6.5% required hospitalisation and of those hospitalised 10.8% required intensive care unit treatment. COVID-19 was likely to be the second highest cause of death over our study’s duration.
Conclusion Estimating the burden of a disease at national level is useful for comparing its impact with other diseases in the population and across populations. This work sets out to standardise a COVID-19 BoD methodology framework for the RoI and comparable nations in the EU.
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