Relating the Global Burden of Disease to life cycles

Weidema B P, Fantke P (2018)

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Procedia CIRP 69:417–422


The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study for the year 2016 reports a global disease burden of 0.32 DALY/person-year, given in disability-specific DALYs per country for 188 countries. However, the human health impacts from all LCIA categories included in the ReCiPe global normalisation reference for the year 2012 together account for <0.02 DALY/person-year. The difference of 0.30 DALY/person-year represents mortality and morbidity that to a large extent are caused by human activities and for which we identify the corresponding elementary flows and unit processes that should be included in product life cycle inventories. In total, we attribute 37% of the GBD to one or more of 79 specific risk factors (e.g. air pollution or dietary risks). The remaining GBD, not attributable to specified risk factors, we then divide in two parts: The ‘Unavoidable GBD’ (19%) and the residual (44%) that we find attributable to an ‘insufficient health care system’.

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