Form to compute the financial losses due to a certain medical condition in a population

This form calculates the estimated productivity losses in a population (e.g., a country, or an organization) due to various medical conditions (e.g., diabetes, anxiety disorders, burnout, etcetera). It uses formulas from the World Health Organization for the computations and generates two values:

(1) YEARS LIVED WITH DISABILITY (YLD), which is the number of years lived with the disability caused by that medical condition, and
(2) ANNUAL COSTS, which represent the annual financial losses incurred in that population due to that medical condition.


Enter the appropriate numbers in the fields below


Population size:

Incidence of the condition:

Duration of the episode. (This is how long that medical condition lasts, on average. This information is typically found in the literature. For instance, the average duration of a depressive episode is 8 months. For Generalized Anxiety Disorder, or for substance abuse, in the absence of treatment, it can be a lifetime. For the flu, it is about two weeks).

IMPORTANT: enter the duration of the episode in YEARS, not in months or days. For instance, if the duration of that episode is 8 months, enter 0.66; If it is 6 months, enter 0.5; If it is 18 months, enter 1.5.

NOTE: if the duration is less than one year, then enter that decimal value. It will generate the annual costs of that condition in that population. However, if the duration is more than one year, enter "1" if you want to caculate the annual costs, or enter the actual number of years (e.g., 20) if you want to calculate the total costs associated with that condition in that population.

Duration of the episode:

Disability weight:

Productivity loss due to that medical condition:

NOTE: enter only the number, not the actual currency you want to compute this in. The currency is just something for you to keep in mind when you interpret the results.

Gross annual salary:



- YEARS LIVED WITH DISABILITY = number of years that population lived with the disability caused by that medical condition.
- COSTS = the financial losses (annual or total, depending on the duration of the episode you entered) incurred by that entity (country / organization) due to the existence of that medical condition in that population.



Let's talk about a concrete example. Let's say that we have a company employing 10000 people, with a gross average salary of 100000 Euros/year. Let's say that, based on a prior organizational assessment, we know that the (point) prevalence of depression in this organization is 12% (i.e., 0.12). We also know from literature that the average duration of a depressive episode is 8 months (i.e., 0.66 years). Furthermore, we know from the scientific literature that the average productivity loss for depression is approximately 20% (i.e., 0.20). From the Global Data Exchange site we learn that the disability weight for moderate depression is 0.396. With these numbers, we can now calculate the financial losses due to depression in this organization.

The results for this hypothetical organization are:



This means that, each year, this organization loses approximately 6.3 million euros due to the existence of this medical condition in its employees. Other medical conditions in this population will increase these costs further. This number also suggests that intervention programs for depression in this population will likely lead to substantial savings and profit increases.






The DALY measures health gaps as opposed to health expectancies. It measures the difference between a current situation and an ideal situation where everyone lives up to the age of the standard life expectancy, and in perfect health. Based on life tables, the standard life expectancy at birth is set at 80 years for men and 82.5 for women. The DALY combines in one measure the time lived with disability and the time lost due to premature mortality.


Where YLL = years of life lost due to premature mortality due to that condition and YLD = years lived with disability due to that condition.


Although the disability weights used in DALY calculations quantify societal preferences for different health states, the weights do not represent the lived experience of any disability or health state, or imply any societal value for the person in a disability or health state. Rather, they quantify societal preferences for health states in relation to the societal ideal of good health. Thus, a weight for paraplegia of 0.57 does not mean that a person in this health state is “half dead”, that they experience their life as halfway between life and death, or that society values them less as a person compared to “healthy” people. It means that, on average, society judges a year with blindness (weight 0.43) to be preferable to a year with paraplegia (weight 0.57), and a year with paraplegia to be preferable to a year with unremitting unipolar major depression (weight 0.76). It also means that, on average, society would prefer a person to have a year in good health followed by death, than a year with paraplegia followed by death. Society would also prefer a person to live three years with paraplegia followed by death (3 years x 0.57 = 1.7 lost “healthy” years), than have one year of good health followed by death (2 lost years of good health).


YLD represents the total number of years lived with disability in a given population. YLD = IxDWxL, where I=incidence, DW=disability weight, L=duration of the condition in years. For an approximation, point prevalence may be used instead of the incidence in the case of conditions that are constant in a population (e.g., depression). Example: In a population of N=100, if 10% are affected by a relatively constant condition that has a disability weight of 0.5 and lasts one year, YLD = 10 x 0.5 x 1 = 5. This means that the total number of years lived with disability in that population is 5.

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