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 are presented in the Australian Burden of Disease Study 2018 – Key findings report. Full results from the Study, including more detailed reports, methods and interactive data visualisations, are planned for release in November 2021.

As this study (ABDS 2018) aims to provide 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 has 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. The first year of COVID-19 in Australia: direct and indirect health effects.

Detailed estimates on burden of disease from the Australian Burden of Disease Study 2015 can be found under Disease burden: interactive data and Risk factors: interactive data.

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Latest findings

Remote and Very remote areas combined experienced a burden rate that was 1.4 times as high as that in Major cities

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

38% of disease burden could have been avoided or reduced, being due to the modifiable risk factors included in the Study

38% of the burden of disease was preventable, being due to the modifiable risk factors included in this study

Remote and very remote areas experienced burden 1.4 times higher than Major cities

4.8 million years of healthy life lost in 2015, equivalent to 199 DALY per 1,000 people