Previous studies in Sweden have focused on a number of indicators to assess and compare health conditions at regional levels over time. In this study we aimed to give a more complete picture of the health situation in Stockholm County compared to the rest of Sweden, by using the DALY measure (disability-adjusted life years).

DALY combines life lost to premature death (YLL) and years lived with disability (YLD) in one measure, and also allow comparisons of fatal and non-fatal conditions. This approach reveals that low back and neck pain and ischemic heart disease dominated the disease burden in 2015. Moreover, the health progress in Stockholm County has been better than the rest of Sweden since 1990, and the main reason is the decrease in premature death (YLL). This can partly be explained by a decrease in risk factors such as unhealthy diets, high blood pressure, tobacco smoking, high BMI and physical inactivity. The development of YLD has been relatively constant since 1990 in both Stockholm County and the rest of Sweden, implying that Sweden has been more successful in preventing death than reducing disability.