A measure of the total morbidity from a particular disease or disease in general, or its impact in terms of unfavourable consequences, or the cost of treating the victims. While such measures have their uses, one common use, which is not recommended, is as an indicator of the pay-off to research (since it takes no account of the probable success of the possible research) or as an indicator of priorities for treatment (as it takes no account of the productivity of treatments). Moreover the burden of disease does not measure the 'burden' (that is, the opportunity cost) of any measures that might be taken to reduce it. And a final caution: measures of 'burden' often fail to calibrate quality of life.
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