The Burden of Premature Mortality in Turkey in 2001 and 2008
Background: Standard expected years of life lost (SEYLL) is a measure that is used to evaluate losses due to premature deaths. Aims: The present study provides an analysis of premature mortality in Turkey for the years 2001 and 2008 and supplies evidence for making policies and setting health agendas over the long term. Study Design: Cross-sectional study. Methods: This study calculated SEYLL by gender, age group and causes of death in Turkey in 2014. The SEYLL measure counts the years lost in a population as a result of premature mortality and is computed by multiplying the number of deaths and standard life expectancy at the age at which death occurs. Results: The burden of premature mortality in Turkey was calculated as 4 104 253 SEYLL and 4 472 443 SEYLL in 2001 and 2008, respectively. Among these 42.7% and 43.9% of SEYLL were in females in 2001 and 2008, respectively. The leading five causes of premature mortality in the Turkish population in 2001 were cardiovascular system diseases (34.72%), perinatal conditions (12.69%), neoplasms (12.51%), external causes of injury (7.66%), and infections and parasitic diseases (6.57%). In 2008, the major causes were cardiovascular diseases (41.17%), neoplasms (14.63%), respiratory system diseases (9.81%), perinatal conditions (5.59%), and external causes of injury (5.29%). Conclusion: The majority of the burden of premature mortality in Turkey is attributable to non-communicable diseases. While premature deaths from infections and parasitic diseases, perinatal conditions and congenital anomalies decreased between 2001 and 2008, deaths from cardiovascular diseases, neoplasms and respiratory system diseases increased dramatically. Coordinated efforts for effective national prevention programs (such as regular monitoring of adults for early diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases and for malignancies by family physicians) should be developed by policy makers to decrease preventable and premature deaths from non-communicable diseases.