Health of the Slovenian population: Where do we stand?


  • Lijana Zaletel-Kragelj
  • Kaja Batista
  • Marusa Bertoncelj
  • Aljaz Brlek
  • Tanja Carli
  • Manja Grasek
  • Martina Horvat
  • Ines Kebler
  • Ana Mavric
  • Matija Mozetic
  • Denis Opresnik
  • Mirjam Rozic
  • Anja Strmsek
  • Nastja Sivec
  • Vesna Smarcan
  • Blaz Vurzer
  • Kristina Zadravec
  • Rok Zaletel
  • Andreja Kukec
  • Ivan Erzen



Aim: Aiming at assessing the state of the Slovenian population health according to the latest available data, and comparing it with health in selected countries, the objective was to analyse the burden of disease (BoD) data available in a selected database.

Methods: The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation Global Burden of Disease Study (IHME-GBD) database was used. Causes of all three big IHME-GBD groups: A) communicable, maternal/neonatal conditions, and nutritional deficiencies, B) non-communicable diseases, and C) injuries, in total 18 groups of causes, were observed. Overall mortality, Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs), Years of Life Lost (YLLs) and Years Lived with Disability (YLDs) (all per 100.000 population), were used as indicators. Percentage of BoD generated by selected cause, and the ratios of rates in 2019 versus rates in 2014 (reference year) in Slovenia, and the ratios of rates in Slovenia versus rates in Western Europe Region countries (WERC) were analysed. Ratios >1.20 or ˂0.83 were considered as important.

Results: When considering mortality, the greatest burden was generated by cardiovascular diseases and neoplasms. In maternal/neonatal conditions, an important decrease in overall (0.68) and premature (0.68) mortality, while in nutritional deficiencies an increase in overall mortality (1.27) were observed. An increase in overall mortality was noticed also in neurological disorders (1.21), diabetes (1.21) and skin diseases (1.24). Mortality rates were higher in Slovenia than in WERC in digestive diseases, substance use, unintentional injuries and self-harm. When considering disability, the greatest burden was generated by musculoskeletal and mental disorders, and unintentional injuries. Disability rates were higher in Slovenia than in WERC in maternal/neonatal conditions, and unintentional and transport injuries.

Conclusion: In the observed five-year time span, cardiovascular diseases and neoplasms remained at the forefront. However, their burden didn’t change. Causes with burden expressed by disability, musculoskeletal and mental disorders, and unintentional injuries, which has been neglected in the past due to lack of indicators, proved to be an important problem as well. MPHPs in which a lot has to be done to reach rates in WERC, digestive diseases, substance use, and injuries, were identified.




How to Cite

Zaletel-Kragelj, L., Batista, K., Bertoncelj, M., Brlek, A., Carli, T., Grasek, M., Horvat, M., Kebler, I., Mavric, A., Mozetic, M., Opresnik, D., Rozic, M., Strmsek, A., Sivec, N., Smarcan, V., Vurzer, B., Zadravec, K., Zaletel, R., Kukec, A., & Erzen, I. (2023). Health of the Slovenian population: Where do we stand?. South Eastern European Journal of Public Health.