The prevention of alcohol problems and the effective treatment of afflicted individuals has enormous potential for reducing illness and death and for improving the quality of life for millions of Americans. NIAAA, since its establishment in 1970, has been committed to the development and dissemination of knowledge that can be used to improve the treatment and prevention of alcohol abuse and alcoholism. NIAAA's research portfolio encompasses a wide range of research in the biomedical and behavioral sciences. In support of its goals, NIAAA maintains intramural research facilities and promotes a wide range of extramural research efforts through grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements. Disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) were developed for use in the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank. The DALY is a summary measure or metric for fatal and nonfatal health outcomes and is based on years of life lost because of premature death (YLL) and years of life lived with disability (YLD). Thus, DALYs = YLL + YLD, and burden = mortality + disability. The disability component of the summary health measure (YLD) is weighted according to the severity of the disability. The strength of the DALY is that its metric includes mortality, in addition to morbidity and health-related quality of life. Given the impressive increase in life expectancy at birth over the past few decades, these estimates of burden of disease provide a basis for setting priorities among diseases and disorders for policymaking, interventions, and research. Much of the work on disease burden has focused on disease and injury outcomes, emphasizing palliative or curative services. Reliable and comparable analysis of risks to health, however, is critically important for preventing disease and injury. DALYs also provide a framework for assessment of burden of disease, and of disease and injury attributable to major risk factors, such as alcohol use, drug use, and obesity. The objective of this project is to calculate DALYs attributable to alcohol and drug use disorders (separately), and attributable to alcohol and drug use (separately) as risk factors for disease and injury. Similar analyses to produce DALYs will be conducted for tobacco use, obesity, and all major mood and anxiety disorders assessed in Waves 1 and 2 of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC).

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Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
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