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14.8 Duration of disease
Equations (1) to (4) require data on the duration of each health effect in years. Separate estimates are required for individuals who recover ( YLD rec ) and those who die ( YLD die ). In both cases, the duration should be the average for individuals with that outcome. Both types of data may be derived from national health statistics. Both may depend on personal attributes, such as age or sex, and they may also depend on the intake of the substance causing the effect.
Disease duration may depend on the cause of the disease, in which case the durations for the general population (e.g. from national health statistics) may differ from those that would apply when the disease is caused by the dietary change under assessment. Another important source of uncertainty is introduced if the dose-response for the effect is derived from animal studies, because it is then necessary to make an assumption about which human diseases the effect corresponds to, in order to make use of human data on disease duration. The impact of all identified uncertainties should be considered when interpreting the results of the assessment (see section 15.1).