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.

Featured reports

Latest findings

Coronary heart disease, back pain, dementia, COPD, and lung cancer were the top 5 diseases causing burden in 2018

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

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

11% reduction in total burden between 2003 and 2015

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

Risk factors contributing the most burden were tobacco use, overweight and obesity, and dietary risks