Premature mortality or deaths occurring at any age lower than the life expectancy adversely impacts the social and economic performance of a country. In the Philippines, top causes of premature deaths are non-communicable diseases and traffic accidents. In last three years, COVID-19 and intentional self-harm have been included in the list.
The Demographic Research and Development Foundation (DRDF) and the Philippine Statistical Authority are currently collaborating on a research project, Gender Disparities in Potential Years of Life Lost Due to Premature Mortality in the Philippines. Going beyond the usual mortality indicators, the study uses data from the civil registration and vital statistics to produce estimates on sex-specific potential years of life lost (PYLL) due to premature deaths from non-communicable diseases, land transport accidents, intentional self-harm, and coronavirus disease (COVID-19). PYLL measures the relative impact of various diseases, highlighting the loss to society due to premature deaths.
By estimating sex-specific PYLL, the study will also underscore the differences in magnitude of premature deaths between male and female populations. How many years of life were lost to women compared to men due to cardiovascular diseases? How many years of life were lost to women compared to men due to intentional self-harm or COVID-19? By answering these questions, the study will also shed light into the existing gender disparities in causes of premature death.
Causes of premature mortality are highly preventable. Policy-wise, measuring sex-specific PYLL can help in better understanding and identifying the types of primary and secondary prevention program to reduce premature mortality specific to men and women. Overall, results of this study are critical to programs and policies geared at attaining Sustainable Development Goals particularly, health and well-being (SDG 3) and gender equality (SDG 5).
This research is being conducted with funding support from the CDC Foundation.
Maria Midea M. Kabamalan, Ph.D.
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