MHLU - Health Status Resource

Potential Years of Life Lost (PYLL): Premature Mortality (2005-2007)

Potential Years of Life Lost (PYLL): Premature Mortality (2005-2007)

Key Findings: 
  • As was the case in Ontario, males showed higher rates of PYLL than females in Middlesex-London, generally reflecting higher rates of deaths in males at younger ages (Fig. 3.15).
  • Deaths due to breast cancer and lung cancer showed the highest PYLL rates for females in Middlesex-London; whereas ischemic heart disease was the highest PYLL rate for males. The PYLL rate for breast cancer in Middlesex-London females was somewhat higher than that of Ontario (Fig. 3.15). 
  • Deaths due to suicide and motor vehicle collisions had the 2nd and 3rd highest PYLL rates for males and the 5th and 6th highest rates for females, respectively, in Middlesex-London. These rates were all higher than those for Ontario (Fig. 3.15).
  • The presence of deaths due to perinatal conditions and birth defects in this list of PYLL rates is largely reflective of the very young ages at which people die of these conditions.  These rates were generally lower for Middlesex-London than those for Ontario, with the exception of the PYLL rate for birth defects in males (Fig. 3.15).
  • Deaths due to unintentional poisoning (eg. from drugs, alcohol), showed the 5th highest  PYLL rates in Middlesex-London males. This rate was higher than that for Ontario males (Fig. 3.15).
  • The PYLL rate for deaths due to lymph and blood cancer in females was higher than the rate for Ontario, whereas the rate for males was somewhat lower than in Ontario (Fig. 3.15). 
Interpretive Notes

PYLL is an indicator of premature mortality. It reflects the number of deaths which occur before the age of 75 and weights those who die younger more heavily. The younger a person is when they die, the greater the number of potential years of life that are lost. For instance, a 73 year old who dies of ischemic heart disease would count as 2 potential years of life lost in the heart disease category. A 12 year old who dies in a motor vehicle collision, however, would count as 63 potential years of life lost.

How this Indicator was Calculated: 
Ontario Public Health Standard: 

Population Health Assessment and Surveillance Protocol - Section 1, Subsections b-ii

Jargon Explained

Potential Years of Life Lost (PYLL):

The sum of the total years of life lost relative to age 75. PYLL is calculated by adding together, for all deaths, the number of years remaining until age 75, and then dividing this by the population under the age of 75 years.