Study reveals impact of disease injury and risk factors on New Zealanders

Issue 53 – September 2013

The Ministry of Health has published Health Loss in New Zealand: A Report from the New Zealand Burden of Diseases, Injuries and Risk Factors Study 2006–2016, a systematic assessment of the health loss experienced by the population. The study draws on data from 2006 to estimate how much healthy life is lost from a comprehensive set of diseases, injuries, and risk factors. It combines both the loss of health from premature death (fatal outcomes) and the loss of health from illness and impairment (non-fatal outcomes).

The Chief Medical Officer, Dr Don Mackie, says coronary heart disease remains the leading cause of health loss at disease level. However, mental disorders, musculoskeletal disorders, sleep disorders and chronic pain syndromes are also major causes of health loss, although responsible for few deaths.

'New Zealanders are living longer, yet this study shows that not all of those extra years are being lived in good health. As the population ages, it will become increasingly important to add 'life to years' as well as 'years to life.'

→ Read the study

→ Another report, Injury-related Health Loss: A report from the New Zealand Burden of Diseases, Injuries and Risk Factors Study 2006–2016 is also available. Read the report

Summarised from a Ministry of Health media release, 08 August 2013.

Published in health.