DefinitionYears of Potential Life Lost (YPLL) before age 75 is calculated as 75 minus age at death as determined from death certificates by the [http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/VitalStats/Pages/default.aspx Alaska Health Analytics and Vital Records (HAVRS)]. If age at death is 75 years or greater, YPLL is 0 years. Rates are calculated for each individual and then summed for a group of interest, for a given time period and divided by the population for that group for the same time period. Rates are age-adjusted.
NumeratorTotal YPLL before age 75 summed across group of interest for a specific time period.
DenominatorTotal population for group of interest for a specific time period.
Data Interpretation IssuesAlaska Health Analytics and Vital Records estimates of YPPL are based upon actual ages rather than midpoints of age groupings.
[http://live.laborstats.alaska.gov/pop/index.cfm Alaska population estimates] provided by the State Demographer in the [http://laborstats.alaska.gov/ Research and Analysis Section] of the [http://labor.alaska.gov/ Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development].
Rates in this profile, with the exception of age-specific rates of YPLL, are age-adjusted to the 2000 US Standard population. Age-adjustment methodology is described here: [http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/statnt/statnt20.pdf].
YPLL is a summary measure of premature mortality (early death). It represents the total number of years not lived by people who die before reaching a given age. YPLL puts more emphasis on causes of death that are more common at earlier ages because persons dying at younger ages will have more years subtracted from age 75. Therefore, it may underestimate the importance of chronic and other conditions occurring later in life.
Why Is This Important?YPLLs can show the burden of premature deaths due to a particular cause of death within a population. YPLLs can also be used to distinguish the burden of premature death in populations. Unlike crude and standard age-adjusted measures, YPLL emphasizes the processes underlying premature death in a population. By giving weight to each year of expected life lost, the YPLL measure values deaths at younger ages more. Deaths at younger ages are more likely due to preventable causes and can be decreased by intervention and education efforts.
Seventy-five years is a common end-point chosen to calculate YPLL. By looking at differences in YPLL between different demographic groups, those at higher risk of premature mortality can be identified.^1^[[br]]
1. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Premature mortality in the United States: public health issues in the use of years of potential life lost. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) 1986;35(2S);1s-11s.
How Are We Doing?From 2000 to 2013, the YPLL from all causes in Alaska generally decreased from 8,068.1 per 100,000 population in 2000 to 7,337.4 per 100,000 population in 2013. Then in 2014 YPLL began to increase reaching 8,216.7 per 100,000 in 2017. During the same 2000 to 2017 time period, YPLL rates for men have been consistently significantly higher than those for women.
When examining YPLL by race, Alaska Native people had significantly higher rates of YPLL, nearly double, than the total for all Alaskans over the past 25 years. The rate for Alaska Native people was 17,161.4 per 100,000 in 2017. Unintentional Injury is the largest contributor to YPLL for all Alaskans (1,746.3 per 100,000) and Alaska Native people (3570.2 per 100,000).
In 2017, those aged 5 to 14 years had the lowest crude rate of YPLL at 1,592.7 per 100,000.
Also in 2017, those in the Yukon-Kuskokwim region (15,576.4) had the highest age-adjusted rate of YPLL, while those living in the Other Southeast-Northern Region (5,169.9) had the lowest rate.
How Do We Compare With the U.S.?The overall age-adjusted rate of YPLL in the U.S. in 2016 was 6,793.8 years per 100,000 population, lower than the rate in Alaska of 8,300.3. As in Alaska, the rate of YPLL in the U.S. decreased since 1980 but with an increase seen in 2014 through 2016.^2,3,4^ Similar to Alaska males, YPLL rates are much higher for U.S. males than females, although the rates for males in the U.S. as a whole are lower than for Alaska males.^4^
In 2016, the rates of YPLL were uniformly higher for Alaska Native people than the U.S. for all of the presented leading causes of death. Rates of YPLL were more than double for Alaska Native people compared to the national average for unintentional injury, heart disease, suicide, homicide and liver disease. Among all Alaskans, only suicide and liver disease were at least twice as high as the national average.[[br]]
2. Raines R. Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Health, Health Analytics and Vital Records Section. Unpublished data. Age-adjusted YPLL rate, Alaska Residents (1990-2017). Provided June 27, 2018.
3. Alaska Native Epidemiology Center. (2017). Alaska Native status report: second edition. Anchorage, AK: Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. [http://anthctoday.org/epicenter/publications/HealthStatusReport/AN_HealthStatusReport_FINAL2017.pdf]. Accessed July 12, 2018.
4. National Center for Health Statistics. Health, United States, 2016: with chartbook on long-term trends in health. Hyattsville, MD. 2017.[https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus16.pdf]. Accessed July 12, 2018.}}
What Is Being Done?Exercise, healthy diet and weight, not smoking, moderate use of alcohol, and injury prevention habits such as wearing seat belts all contribute to a healthy lifespan.