• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of envhperEnvironmental Health PerspectivesBrowse ArticlesAbout EHPGeneral InformationAuthorsMediaProgramsPartnerships
Environ Health Perspect. May 2002; 110(5): 537–542.
PMCID: PMC1240845
Research Article

Estimating the burden of disease from water, sanitation, and hygiene at a global level.

Abstract

We estimated the disease burden from water, sanitation, and hygiene at the global level taking into account various disease outcomes, principally diarrheal diseases. The disability-adjusted life year (DALY) combines the burden from death and disability in a single index and permits the comparison of the burden from water, sanitation, and hygiene with the burden from other risk factors or diseases. We divided the world's population into typical exposure scenarios for 14 geographical regions. We then matched these scenarios with relative risk information obtained mainly from intervention studies. We estimated the disease burden from water, sanitation, and hygiene to be 4.0% of all deaths and 5.7% of the total disease burden (in DALYs) occurring worldwide, taking into account diarrheal diseases, schistosomiasis, trachoma, ascariasis, trichuriasis, and hookworm disease. Because we based these estimates mainly on intervention studies, this burden is largely preventable. Other water- and sanitation-related diseases remain to be evaluated. This preliminary estimation of the global disease burden caused by water, sanitation, and hygiene provides a basic model that could be further refined for national or regional assessments. This significant and avoidable burden suggests that it should be a priority for public health policy.

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (801K).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Prüss A, Corvalán CF, Pastides H, De Hollander AE. Methodologic considerations in estimating burden of disease from environmental risk factors at national and global levels. Int J Occup Environ Health. 2001 Jan-Mar;7(1):58–67. [PubMed]
  • Inskip PD. Frequent radiation exposures and frequency-dependent effects: the eyes have it. Epidemiology. 2001 Jan;12(1):1–4. [PubMed]
  • Mead PS, Slutsker L, Dietz V, McCaig LF, Bresee JS, Shapiro C, Griffin PM, Tauxe RV. Food-related illness and death in the United States. Emerg Infect Dis. 1999 Sep-Oct;5(5):607–625. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Payment P, Richardson L, Siemiatycki J, Dewar R, Edwardes M, Franco E. A randomized trial to evaluate the risk of gastrointestinal disease due to consumption of drinking water meeting current microbiological standards. Am J Public Health. 1991 Jun;81(6):703–708. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Black RE, Dykes AC, Anderson KE, Wells JG, Sinclair SP, Gary GW, Jr, Hatch MH, Gangarosa EJ. Handwashing to prevent diarrhea in day-care centers. Am J Epidemiol. 1981 Apr;113(4):445–451. [PubMed]
  • Esrey SA. Water, waste, and well-being: a multicountry study. Am J Epidemiol. 1996 Mar 15;143(6):608–623. [PubMed]
  • Esrey SA, Potash JB, Roberts L, Shiff C. Effects of improved water supply and sanitation on ascariasis, diarrhoea, dracunculiasis, hookworm infection, schistosomiasis, and trachoma. Bull World Health Organ. 1991;69(5):609–621. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Quick RE, Venczel LV, Mintz ED, Soleto L, Aparicio J, Gironaz M, Hutwagner L, Greene K, Bopp C, Maloney K, et al. Diarrhoea prevention in Bolivia through point-of-use water treatment and safe storage: a promising new strategy. Epidemiol Infect. 1999 Feb;122(1):83–90. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Semenza JC, Roberts L, Henderson A, Bogan J, Rubin CH. Water distribution system and diarrheal disease transmission: a case study in Uzbekistan. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 1998 Dec;59(6):941–946. [PubMed]
  • Huttly SR, Morris SS, Pisani V. Prevention of diarrhoea in young children in developing countries. Bull World Health Organ. 1997;75(2):163–174. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Ahmad OB, Lopez AD, Inoue M. The decline in child mortality: a reappraisal. Bull World Health Organ. 2000;78(10):1175–1191. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from Environmental Health Perspectives are provided here courtesy of National Institute of Environmental Health Science

Formats:

Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...

Links

  • Cited in Books
    Cited in Books
    PubMed Central articles cited in books
  • MedGen
    MedGen
    Related information in MedGen
  • PubMed
    PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...