In Switzerland, the number of years of life lost due to a non-communicable disease (NCD) per 100 000 population has continued to fall since 1995. In 1995, 2561 years overall were lost to NCD, whereas in 2019 this number was 1226. In 2019, the burden of years lost to NCD to men (1435) was considerably greater than those lost to women (1016 years).

A considerable decline can also be seen when the years of life lost are broken down by disease: For example, the years of life lost due to cardio-vascular disease have fallen from 610 (1995) to 224 (2019) per 100 000 population and for cancer, figures have fallen from 1076 to 574 years over the same time period.

This indicator is part of the Monitoring System Addiction and NCD (MonAM) of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH).

Assigned topics

A person’s years of potential life lost due to NCD show how much longer this person would have lived had they not died before the end of their 70th year due to a non-communicable disease (NCD):

Early deaths are calculated on the basis of deaths within the population. With a selected age limit of 70, a death at the age of 10 means 60 years of potential life lost, death at the age of 65 means 5 years of potential life lost.

A major objective of the NCD strategy is to fight frequently occurring and chronic diseases such as cardio-vascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, respiratory disease and musculoskeletal diseases. It aims to reduce the burden of disease in the population and prevent early death. The number of years of life lost provide direct and quantifiable information on the trend in this number.


This indicator is based on the Cause of Death Statistics (FSO). Figures are updated annually.

«Years of potential life lost (YPLL)» is an internationally recognised indicator. The indicator shows the number of years of potential life lost per 100 000 population (permanent resident population) for deaths occurring between birth and the age of 70. Data are standardised according to the age structure of the European standard population in 2010 (European Commission, 2013). To calculate the YPLL, the number of years that would have remained up to a selected age limit are counted for each death and then added together. This age limit has been set at 70 for reasons of international comparability (WHO).

The following diseases have been determined according to the corresponding ICD-10 definitions:

  • Diseases of the circulatory system (I00- I99)
  • All cancers (C00-C97)
  • Diabetes mellitus (E10-E14; excl. E10.2, E11.2, E12.2, E13.2, E14.2)
  • Diseases of the respiratory system (J30-J98)
  • Diseases of the liver (K70 and K74)

For better international comparability, in the latest revision of the indicator in 2021, this breakdown was adapted to that used in the Global Burden of Disease study (WHO, 2020). The previous breakdown was based on the NCDs outlined in the study by Lozano et al. (2012). The data have been retroactively recalculated according to the new WHO definition.



  • Lozano, R. et al. (2012). Global and regional mortality from 235 causes of death for 20 age groups in 1990 and 2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. The Lancet, 380(9859): 2095-2128: Study.
  • Revision of the European Standard Population — Report of Eurostat's task force (2013). European Commission. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, p. 121: Report.
  • WHO methods and data souces for country-level causes of death 2000-2019 (2020). Global Health Estimates Technical Paper WHO/DDI/DNA/GHE/2020.2: Publication.

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