Health-Adjusted Life Year

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Introduction & definition

Health-Adjusted Life Years are a measurement of the health of a population, typically used in estimates of the burden of disease.

HALYs are used to measure the combined effects of mortality and morbidity in populations; they permit comparisons between ilnesses or interventions as well as between populations[1]

They are commonly used to compare the cost-effectiveness of different health interventions.

Calculation of HALY

The two most common ways of measuring HALYs are:

Function/Uses of HALYs

HALYs are based on the latest available epidemiological data, and the accuracy & usefulness of the HALY measurement depends on the completeness & accuracy of the data used.

Data can be taken from a variety of sources, including: census & national surveillance data; hospital records; surveys (eg. road safety surveys, or health surveys); police records; mortuary records; death certificate information.

Ideally the data should all be recent, locally derived and disaggregated by age and sex.

Recent Related Research (from Pubmed)


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  1. Gold, MR, Stevenson D, Fryback DG. HALYs and QALYs and DALYs, Oh My: similarities and differences in summary measures of population Health. Annu Rev Public Health, 2002; 23:115-34