age-specific rate: The number (of deaths or fatal burden) in a specific age group divided by the population for that age group in the reference year and expressed per 1,000 population. Populations are based on the Australian estimated resident population as at 30 June of the reference year available to the AIHW when preparing this dynamic data display.

age-standardised rate: A rate that takes into account the age structure of the population and allow comparisons between differently sized populations. In this report, age-standardised rates were directly age-standardised to the 2001 Australian standard population and are expressed per 1,000 population.

attributable burden: The disease burden attributed to a particular risk factor. It is the reduction in fatal burden and non-fatal burden that would have occurred if exposure to the risk factor had been avoided (or more precisely had been at its theoretical minimum).

burden of disease (and injury): The quantified impact of a disease or injury on a population, using the disability-adjusted life year (DALY) measure.

DALY (disability-adjusted life years): A measure (in years) of healthy life lost, either through premature death – defined as dying before the expected life span at the age of death (YLL) – or, equivalently, through living with ill health due to illness or injury (YLD). It is often used synonymously with ‘health loss’.

deaths: Counts of deaths that occur during the reference year. In the Australian Burden of Disease Study, the cause of death was aligned to the diseases/injuries listed in the Australian Burden of Disease Study disease list.

fatal burden: The burden from dying ‘prematurely’ as measured by years of life lost. Often used synonymously with YLL, and also referred to as ‘life lost’.

non-fatal burden: The burden from living with ill health as measured by years lived with disability. Often used synonymously with YLD.

population attributable fraction (PAF): For a particular risk factor and causally linked disease or injury, the percentage reduction in burden that would occur for a population if exposure to the risk factor were avoided or reduced to its theoretical minimum.    

risk factor: Any factor that causes or increases the likelihood of illness or death due to a disease or injury or other unwanted condition or event.

YLD (years lived with disability): A measure of the years of what could have been a healthy life but were instead spent in states of less than full health. YLD represent non-fatal burden.         

YLL (years of life lost): Years of life lost due to premature death, defined as dying before the global ideal life span at the age of death. YLL represent fatal burden.