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Centre for Disease Burden

The Centre for Disease Burden was established at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in 2015. The centre's main goal is to describe and understand the health situation in Norway.

The Centre for Disease Burden was established at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in 2015. The centre's main goal is to describe and understand the health situation in Norway.

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The centre will:

  • provide an overall analysis of the incidence of causes of death and diseases
  • calculate the burden of disease as loss of health and years of life lost
  • determine the risk factors that have the greatest impact on disease burden

An overview of health of the population and health analysis is part of the NIPH’s social mission. The Centre for Disease Burden was established because Norway lacked a comprehensive and detailed overview of disease, death and risk factors. To date, health analyses have often focused on areas where we have the best data, namely mortality, while the incidence and significance of many diseases we live with have not always had the same attention.

The Centre for Disease Burden will analyse data for Norway as part of the Global Burden of Disease project. This project makes it possible to monitor the state of health and disease over time in 188 countries, including Norway.

Enables comparisons

The burden of disease methodology aims to compare and count different "health destinies" that are not easily comparable on the same scale: The burden of a young woman suffering from depression compared with the burden of an elderly woman dying of dementia, or the burden of having diabetes compared with the burden of being injured or dying in traffic.

The burden of disease project uses data from other countries as close to Norway as possible if Norwegian data are not available or are inadequate. Health experts in their respective fields will review the disease burden analyses conducted for Norway. Independent descriptions of the development and prevalence of various diseases and disorders are given. This approach can respond to the need for a holistic health overview and has the benefit of being able to compare between regions over time and between population groups.

More opportunities

The centre plans to analyse the burden of disease at the county or regional level. Norway is among the few countries that can couple data from different health registries and we are therefore planning to analyse how the burden of disease is distributed among the population for example, by education and income.

More and more countries are adopting burden of disease analyses. The centre will be involved in developing methods and using disease burden analyses as support tools when interventions in health promotion and health care systems will be evaluated.

The centre will also participate in Nordic, European and global research about the burden of disease. We have special expertise in overweight and obesity, dementia, employment, family composition and lifestyle.

Activities at the Centre for Disease Burden

  • Established the Norwegian disease burden project in collaboration with the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) project at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), University of Washington, Seattle
  • Identified Norwegian data sources for the global project
  • Published articles with Norwegian data that can be used in the global project
  • Contributed to government white papers and hearing responses
  • Contributed as country experts in GBD 2013 and GBD 2015
  • Chapter about disease burden in the Public Health Report 2014
  • Published several scientific articles within the disease burden researchers' former research fields
  • Resources for research into obesity from the Research Council of Norway (Young Research Talents, project 250335): The burden of obesity in Norway: morbidity, mortality, health service use and productivity loss (Jonas Kinge)
  • Published NIPH rapport 2016:1 «Sykdomsbyrde i Norge 1990–2013» based on the results for Norway from GBD 2013 in collaboration with 28 NIPH researchers

Co-operation with the international burden of disease project

Researchers in the Centre for Disease Burden contribute as country experts in the international Global Burden of Disease project, led by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle. GBD 2013 was published as a series of articles in The Lancet in 2015. Researchers at the Centre for Disease Burden are co-authors of these publications.

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