David Bloom, Simiao Chen, Nathaniel Counts, Rachael Han, Sabrina Malik, Arindam Nandi, Benjamin Seligman, Daniel Vigo, 26 March 2021

Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias not only cause suffering to the individual but have high societal and economic costs. This column estimates that, globally, these diseases contributed to a loss of 33.1 million years of full health (measured in disability-adjusted life years) in 2019. Over the next 30 years, the loss could more than triple, with the burden increasingly falling on low- and middle-income countries. To ensure the future health and functioning of an ageing global community, the global community must invest effectively and efficiently in R&D and scale effective supportive interventions for Alzheimer’s and related dementias. 

Ilan Noy, 13 March 2015

It is difficult to evaluate the economic impact of natural disasters in the absence of an established metric for measuring the total damages. This column introduces a systematic index that measures the economic cost of catastrophes as well as the human cost – the latter integrating the World Health Organisation’s measure of disability-adjusted lifeyears. Low income countries face higher costs of disasters for a variety of reasons. Some recent disasters are evaluated as case studies. 

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