Pre-COVID life expectancy, mortality, and burden of diseases for adults 70 years and older in Australia: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease 2019 Study

GBD 2019 Australia Collaborators, Azizur Rahman

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Abstract

Background: The Australian population aged 70 and above is increasing and imposing new challenges for policy makers and providers to deliver accessible, appropriate and affordable health care. We examine pre-COVID patterns of health loss between 1990 and 2019 to inform policies and practices. Methods: Using the standardised methodology framework and analytical strategies from GBD 2019 methodologies, we estimated mortality, causes of death, years of life lost (YLLs), years lived with disability (YLDs), disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), life expectancy at age 70 and above (LE-70), and healthy life expectancy (HALE-70) in Australia comparing them globally and with high socio-demographic index (SDI) groups. Findings: DALY rates have been improving steadily over the past 30 years among Australians aged 70 and above. Decreases in DALY rates were primarily attributed to a fall in YLLs attributable to cardiovascular diseases (60%) and chronic respiratory disorders (30.2%) and transport injuries (56.9%), while the non-fatal burden remained stable from 1990 to 2019. According to the DALY rates, the top five leading causes are ischemic heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, COPD, stroke, and falls, where falls exhibited the largest increase since 1990. Interpretation: This study provides an in-depth report on the main causes of mortality and disability in Australia's population aged 70 and above. It sheds light on the shifts in burden over three decades, emphasising the need for the Australian health system to enhance its readiness in addressing the escalating demands of an ageing population. These findings establish pre-COVID baseline estimates for Australia's population aged 70 and above, informing healthcare preparedness. Funding: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101092
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalThe Lancet Regional Health - Western Pacific
Volume47
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024

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