Overview

The Australian Burden of Disease Study 2018 provides updated estimates for over 200 diseases and injuries in Australia for 2018, 2015, 2011 and 2003. Burden of disease measures the impact of living with illness and injury and dying prematurely. The summary measure ‘disability-adjusted life years’ (or DALY) measures the years of healthy life lost from death and illness.

The most recent available burden of disease data for the Australian population are presented in Australian Burden of Disease Study: impact and causes of illness and death in Australia 2018. There is also a Summary report and Key findings report. Detailed estimates from the Australian Burden of Disease Study 2018 can be found under Disease burden: interactive data and Risk factors: interactive data.

Burden of disease estimates for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population are presented in Australian Burden of Disease Study: impact and causes of illness and death in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 2018, along with a Summary report and Key findings report. The detailed results can be explored at Disease burden among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people: interactive data and Risk factor burden among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people: interactive data.

As this study (ABDS 2018) provides estimates of disease burden for the 2018 reference year, estimates of the burden due to COVID-19 are not included. However, as part of a separate project, AIHW calculated estimates of the fatal and non-fatal burden due to COVID-19 in Australia for 2020. These estimates have been published in a synthesis report on the direct and indirect health effects of COVID-19 in Australia.

Featured reports

Latest findings

Cancers were the group of diseases causing the most burden in 2018

5 million years of healthy life were lost in 2018

Australians suffered more burden from living with illness (52% of total burden) than from premature death (48%)

The gap in burden between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians narrowed by 16% between 2003 and 2018

In 2018, more burden in Indigenous Australians was due to living with illness than premature death

Indigenous Australians lost almost 240,000 years of healthy life due to illness and injury in 2018