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Objective: This study sought to measure burden of disease and identifies health priorities from the Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) indicator.

Methods: This is the first study on burden of disease for a department in Colombia by using a standardized methodology. By using the DALYs indicator, burden of disease was identified in the department of Nariño according to the guidelines established by the World Health Organization.

Results: The DALYs in the Department of Nariño highlight the emergence of communicable, maternal, perinatal, and nutritional diseases during the first years of life; of accidents and lesions among youth, and non-communicable diseases in older individuals. Also, accidents and lesions are highlighted in men and non-communicable diseases in women.

Conclusions: This study is part of the knowledge management process in the Departmental Health Plan for Nariño - Colombia 2012-2015 and contributes to the system of indicators of the 2012 ten-year public health plan. This research evidences that communicable diseases generate the biggest part of the burden of disease in the Department of Nariño, that DALYs due to non-communicable diseases are on the rise, and that accidents and lesions, especially due to violence are an important cause of DALYs in this region, which is higher than that of the country.

Anderson Rocha-Buelvas, Instituto Departamental de Salud de Nariño


Elizabeth Trujillo-Montalvo, Instituto Departamental de Salud de Nariño


Carlos Alberto Hidalgo-Patiño, Instituto Departamental de Salud de Nariño


Ángela Hidalgo-Eraso, EMSSANAR EPS

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Received 2013-12-05
Accepted 2014-09-17
Published 2014-09-30