Belgian National Burden of Disease Study (BeBOD)

What are the most important diseases in Belgium? Which risk factors contribute most to the overall disease burden? How is the burden of disease evolving over time, and how does it differ across the country? In a context of increasing budgetary constraints, a precise answer to these basic questions is more than ever necessary to inform policy-making.

To address this need, Sciensano is conducting a national burden of disease study. In addition to generating internally consistent estimates of death rate (mortality) or how unhealthy we are (morbidity) by age, sex and region, the estimates will also include how much of that burden can be attributed to risk factors. This can be useful for priority setting and prevention policy planning.

For more info, please visit the BeBOD project page.

  Other BeBOD visualisation tools

Estimates of the fatal and non-fatal burden of 38 key diseases

Estimates of the fatal burden of 131 causes of death

Estimates of the non-fatal burden of 57 cancer sites

BeBOD estimates of the burden of disease attributable to risk factors

Our results build on the estimates of causes of death from the Belgian National Burden of Disease Study and apply comparative risk assessment to estimate the proportion of that burden due to risk factors.

Population attributable fraction

Based on the estimated level of exposure and the associated health risk, a population attributable fraction (PAF) is calculated. The PAF is the proportion of the disease burden that is caused by exposure to the risk factor.

Attributable burden

The burden of disease is quantified in deaths and in Years of Life Lost (YLL). To derive the burden attributable to a risk factor, its PAF is multiplied with the total observed burden.

Risk factors

Tobacco use

The prevalence of never, former and current smokers, as well as the daily number of cigarettes smoked by smokers, is derived from the Belgian Health Interview Survey. Bayesian regression models are used to smoothen, interpolate and extrapolate observed estimates.

Explore our estimates


Explore trends in risk factor attributable burden, by region, sex, and age.


Explore patterns of risk factor attributable burden, by region, sex, age, and year.


Rank causes of risk factor attributable burden, by region, sex, age, and year.


Compare the top causes of risk factor attributable burden, across region, sex, age, or year.


Explore and download our estimates of attributable disease burden.

Download all estimates

All estimates can be downloaded in rds format via Zenodo:



Leonor Guariguata, Sarah Nayani, Sarah Croes, Vanessa Gorasso & Brecht Devleesschauwer. (2024). BeBOD estimates of attributable mortality and years of life lost due to tobacco use, 2013-2020 (v2024-04-24) [Data set]. Zenodo.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.