The burden of disease, describing loss of health and death due to a disease, has not been fully studied for melanoma in the general population over time.


To determine the burden of disease due to melanoma in the Netherlands.


Age- and sex-specific incidence data from all patients with melanoma in the Netherlands between 1991 and 2010 were obtained from the Netherlands Cancer Registry. Melanoma-specific mortality and life expectancy data were obtained from Statistics Netherlands. Melanoma duration was calculated using the DISMOD software from the World Health Organization. The years of life lived with disability (YLD) and years of life lost (YLL) due to melanoma were calculated using Dutch disability weights, incidence and mortality of melanoma, and the life expectancy from the general population. The number of disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) was estimated by adding YLD and YLL.


The world-standardized incidence rates of melanoma have more than doubled for both men (7·1 per 100 000 inhabitants in 1991 to 17·0 in 2010) and women (9·4 per 100 000 inhabitants in 1991 to 19·8 in 2010). Likewise, the burden of melanoma to society has increased rapidly. The YLD for men increased from 4795 (1991–4) to 12 441 (2007–10), and for women from 7513 (1991–4) to 16 544 (2007–10). In 2007–10 the total YLL due to melanoma was 30 651 for men and 26 244 for women compared with 17 238 and 16 900, respectively, in 1991–4. The DALYs increased by 96% for men, from 22 033 (1991–4) to 43 092 (2007–10), and by 75% for women, from 24 413 (1991–4) to 42 788 (2007–10).


Melanoma is becoming a great burden to Dutch society.