Objectives : This study introduced the healthy life-year(HeaLY), a composite indicator of disease burden, and used it to estimate the burden of major cancers in Korea. Methods : We collected data from the national death certificate database, the national health insurance claims database and the abridged life table. This data was used to create a spreadsheet and estimate the burden of major cancers by sex in terms of HeaLYs. Results : The burden of 10 major cancers for males was 2,248.97 person-year in terms of HeaLYs. Stomach cancer, liver cancer, and lung cancer were responsible for 75.2% of the burden of 10 major cancers. The disease burden of 10 major cancers for females was estimated to be 1,567.58 person-years. About two thirds of HeaLYs lost were from stomach cancer, liver cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, and breast cancer. The rankings among 10 major cancers were somewhat different in terms of both HeaLYs and deaths as the HeaLY method considers both mortality and morbidity. Conclusions : Despite the limitations of the data sources, we conclude that HeaLY can aid in setting policy priorities concerning major cancers by estimating the disease burden of these cancers. Time-series analysis of the disease burden using HeaLY and DALY will elucidate the strengths and weaknesses of both methods.
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