Theoretically any death that occurs before average life expectancy is achieved could be called “premature,” but because that would not allow for a range around the average, the term is usually reserved for deaths that occur a considerable but undefined number of years before average life expectancy is achieved. Thus, death in childhood falls in the category of premature death. The term is usually applied to death in relatively early adult life, such as violent death from accident, suicide, homicide; death caused by cancer, heart disease, stroke before the average age at which such deaths occur; and death caused by infection, such as HIV/AIDS. In calculating DALYs, the life expectancy in Japan is taken as the benchmark by which life expectancy in other countries is lower, so premature death is more likely.
Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.