Priority Medicines for Europe and the World 2013 Update. Background Paper 5 - Demography, Global Burden of Disease and the Preliminary List of Priorities
(2013; 35 pages)


This paper is an update of the background paper for Chapter 5 of the 2004 Priority Medicines for Europe and the World report published at: report/background/5_chap.doc.1 The paper describes demographic trends and burden of disease for the European Union member states and for the world as a whole.

Throughout the paper we report different regions to describe the data for Europe because the different databases we consulted did not use the same regional definitions. Overall, there are three different groups for countries in Europe: the WHO European Region, the EU27 (European Union Member States), and Western, Eastern and Central Europe combined as defined in the 2010 Global Burden of Disease study.2,3 The WHO European Union is the biggest group with 53 countries. The three European regions (Western, Eastern, and Central) combined contain 43 countries. Together, the European regions and the WHO European Union contain all 27 European Union Member States. The EU27 region is the region of preference, but if this region was not reported, the other regions would be used. It is important to note the difference between the regions when interpreting the findings in this report. The regions are described in more detail in section 4 of Chapter 4.

In this chapter, we will discuss several demographic indicators, looking at the change in health status of the population in the past decades by examining fertility rates, population distribution, life expectancy at birth, and more. Secondly, we will discuss specific high burden diseases in more detail, looking at the differences between the EU member states. In the last section, we will review the burden of disease data based on DALY and mortality numbers for Europe and the world. This chapter will conclude with a description of common trends amongst diseases that that cause a high burden in European regions and the world. The purpose of the analysis reported in this chapter is to produce a Preliminary List, which provides the basis for in-depth studies of diseases and risk factors reported in Chapter 6.

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