The burden of premature mortality in Poland analysed with the use of standard expected years of life lost
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Background: Despite positive changes in the health of the population of Poland, compared to the EU average, the average life expectancy in 2011 was 5 years shorter for males and 2.2 years shorter for females. The immediate cause is the great number of premature deaths, which results in years of life lost in the population. The aim of the study was to identify the major causes of years of life lost in Poland. Methods: The analysis was based on a database of the Central Statistical Office of Poland, containing information gathered from 375,501 death certificates of inhabitants of Poland who died in 2011. The SEYLLp (Standard Expected Years of Life Lost per living person) and the SEYLLd (SEYLL per death) measures were calculated to determine years of life lost. Results: In 2011, the total number of years of life lost by in Polish residents due to premature mortality was 2,249,213 (1,415,672 for males and 833,541 for females). The greatest number of years of life lost in males were due to ischemic heart disease (7.8 per 1,000), lung cancer (6.0), suicides (6.6), cerebrovascular disease (4.6) and road traffic accidents (5.4). In females, the factors contributing to the greatest number of deaths were cerebrovascular disease (3.8 per 1,000), ischemic heart disease (3.7), heart failure (2.7), lung cancer (2.5) and breast cancer (2.3). Regarding the individual scores per person in both males and females, the greatest death factors were road traffic accidents (20.2 years in males and 17.1 in females), suicides (17.4 years in males and 15.4 in females) and liver cirrhosis (12.1 years in males and 11.3 in females). Conclusions: It would be most beneficial to further reduce the number of deaths due to cardiovascular diseases, because they contribute to the greatest number of years of life lost. Moreover, from the economic point of view, the most effective preventative activities are those which target causes which result in a large number of years of life lost at productive age for each death due to a particular reason, i.e. road traffic accidents, suicides and liver cirrhosis.
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