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A Journal on Internal Medicine

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Minerva Medica 2011 February;102(1):1-14

language: English

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: the Disability Adjusted Life Years in northern Italy

Minicuci N., Benacchio L., Noale M., Campigotto F., Balzi D., Franzo A., Masiero L., Bovo C., Olivieri A.

National Council Research, Padua, Italy


AIM: The DALY measure represents a new tool for improving the capacity of local health unit to assess population health needs and priorities. Our study aimed to increase the validity of the Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALY), by incorporating local estimates of the disease incidence and applying population-specific disability weights.
METHODS: This is a prospective cohort study enrolling subjects aged 45+ years, first-time admitted to the hospital with principal diagnosis of 490-492, 496 ICD IX-CM codes and followed for one year to evaluate the vital status. A subset was administered the Saint George Respiratory Questionnaire to estimate the distribution of the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)-related disability.
RESULTS: Estimates of total DALY (per 1000) for COPD varied between 2.1 to 3.4 years among men and between 1.0 to 2.3 years among women; percentages of years of life lost due to a premature mortality were between 60 and 70%.
CONCLUSION: The DALY represents a new tool for improving the capacity to assess population health needs and priorities. Policy makers owning such a further element of evaluation may be better oriented in allocating resources for COPD among the different health care chapters: prevention, emergency, chronicity and rehabilitation.

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