Welfare-Adjusted Life Years (WALYs)
This talk introduces a novel metric to evaluate total disease impact across multiple diseases by combining the mortality and welfare compromise components. Adapted from the Disability-Adjusted Life Years in human medicine, we developed Welfare-Adjusted Life Years (WALYs) to evaluate the total impact of a disease on companion animals by combining two components: 1) the years of life lost due to the premature death caused by a disease and 2) the years lived with compromised welfare due to the same disease. This pilot study was conducted with ten canine inheritable diseases to demonstrate the metric. We provided suggestions for future research and future use of WALYs framework.
Kendy Teng is a Taiwanese veterinarian and currently a PhD candidate focusing on using epidemiological approaches to study diseases that compromise companion animal welfare, such as inheritable diseases and obesity.