Notes on the data: Potential years of life lost, by age and sex

Potential years of life lost from deaths of males/ females/ persons by broad year age groups 0 to 14, 15 to 24, 25 to 44, 45 to 64 and 65 to 75 years, 2013 to 2017

 

Policy context:  As noted for premature mortality, above, some 34% of all deaths over the years 2013 to 2017 occurred before 75 years of age, although the proportion varies by sex and by cause, as shown here

However, depending on the age at which a person dies, the number of years of life lost had they lived until, say, 74 years of age will vary. Potential years of life lost (PYLL) is a measure of the sum of the potential years of life lost from deaths at 15 years (60 years), 45 years (30 years) and so on, assuming they had all lived to 74 years of age.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare note that, on this measure, a particular PYLL value will be higher if mortality among children or young people is high; chronic diseases causing death among the elderly, on the other hand, have little effect on these values [1]. In Australia, there were 881,528 PYLLs on average over the five years 2013 to 2017, almost two thirds of which were for males (62.5%) and over one third for females (37.5%) [2]. This number represents a decrease of 90% from 1907, when there were 382 PYLLs per 1,000 population, to 2017, when this figure was 38 PYLLs per 1,000 population [1].

Some notable variations shown by the data for the five years 2013 to 2017 [2] are:

  • the highest rates were recorded in the 45 to 65 year age group, with 65.1 PYLLs per 1,000 population (81.5 PYLLs per 1,000 males and 49.2 PYLLs per 1.000 females). The lowest rate for males was recorded among those aged 0 to 14 years (25.7 PYLL per 1,000 males), while the lowest rate among females was in the 15 to 24 year age group (11.9 PYLL per 1,000 females);
  • in all but the Northern Territory 0 to 14 year old age group, the rates for males were substantially higher than the rates for females. The biggest differentials in rates for males and females were recorded among those aged 15 to 24 years, with male rates more than three times higher in the Australian Capital Territory and almost two and a half time higher in South Australia;
  • the rate of PYLLs for the people who lived in the most disadvantaged areas was over twice that in the least disadvantaged areas across Australia in all age groups excluding those aged 65 to 74 years (1.77 times) – in the Northern Territory this inequality gap was 5.94 among people aged 25 to 44 years; and
  • for people aged 15 to 24 years living in the Very Remote areas, PYLL rates were 4.88 times those in the Major Cities areas – this variation was more than six times higher for females.

References

  1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), Deaths in Australia. Available from https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/web/152/deaths/deaths-in-australia/contents/age-at-death; last accessed 3 February 2020
  2. PHIDU, based on Cause of Death Unit Record Files supplied by the Australian Coordinating Registry and the Victorian Department of Justice, on behalf of the Registries of Births, Deaths and Marriages and the National Coronial Information System; 2013 to 2017.
 

Notes:  For detailed data files released since 2007, the ABS has applied a staged approach to the coding of cause of death which affects the number of records available for release at any date. In each release, the latest year’s data are preliminary, the second latest are revised and the data for the earlier years are final. In this way, the majority of records are released earlier than would be the case than were no data released until files had been returned from Coroners’ offices. For further information about the ABS revisions process see the following and related sites: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/3303.0Explanatory+Notes12012.

 

Geography:  Data available by Population Health Area, Local Government Area, Primary Health Network, quintile of socioeconomic disadvantage of area and Remoteness Area

 

Numerator:  The sum of the number of years between the actual age at death and 75 years of age for all deaths of each of males, females, persons aged 0 to 14, 15 to 24, 25 to 44, 45 to 64, and 65 to 74 years over the years 2013 to 2017

 

Denominator:  Males, females, persons aged 0 to 14, 15 to 24, 25 to 44, 45 to 64, and 65 to 74 years

 

Detail of analysis:  Average annual indirectly age-standardised rate of potential years of life lost per 1,000 population (aged 0 to 14, 15 to 24, 25 to 44, 45 to 64, and 65 to 74 years); and/or indirectly age-standardised ratio, based on the Australian standard.

 

Source:  Data compiled by PHIDU from deaths data based on the 2013 to 2017 Cause of Death Unit Record Files supplied by the Australian Coordinating Registry and the Victorian Department of Justice, on behalf of the Registries of Births, Deaths and Marriages and the National Coronial Information System. The population is the ABS Estimated Resident Population (ERP) for Australia, 30 June 2013 to 30 June 2017.

 

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