Burden of Disease

Definition

Health Economics

  • A measure of the total morbidity from a particular disease or disease in general, or its impact in terms of unfavourable consequences, or the cost of treating the victims. While such measures have their uses, one common use, which is not recommended, is as an indicator of the pay-off to research (since it takes no account of the probable success of the possible research) and another that is not recommended is as an indicator of priorities for treatment (not recommended as it takes no ac count of the effectiveness of treatments).The burden of disease thus conceived does not measure the real 'burden' (i.e. the opportunity cost) of any measures that might be taken to reduce it. A final caution: measures of 'burden' often fail to calibrate quality of life.
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