GBD 2015: Increase in global life expectancy offset by war, obesity, and substance abuse
New Global Burden of Disease (GBD 2015)) study reveals that income, education, and birth rates – while critical – are not the only keys to healthy living in 195 countries
Improvements in sanitation, immunizations, indoor air quality, and nutrition have enabled children in poor countries to live longer over the past 25 years, according to a new scientific analysis by the IHME and collaborators of more than 300 diseases and injuries in 195 countries and territories.
However, such progress is threatened by increasing numbers of people suffering serious health threats related to obesity, high blood sugar, and alcohol and drug abuse.
These and other significant health findings are being published in a dedicated issue of The Lancet as part of the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD). The study draws on the work of more than 1,800 collaborators in nearly 130 countries and territories.
At the global level, the GBD functions as an accountability tool. Too often, high-level targets, commitments, and goals pay scant attention to approaches for measuring their real-world impact. Indeed, approaches for collecting and analysing data are scattered across the 17 SDGs and their individual targets and indicators, and are often found at the bottom of the priority list.
The Socio-demographic Index (SDI) is among the most important technological developments of GDB 2015. As a new indicator derived from measures of educational attainment, fertility rate, and per capita income, this index is critical to measuring the impact of public health interventions by separating secular trends that are driven by socioeconomic development from overall progress.”
This year, researchers analyzed each country using a Sociodemographic Index, examining rates of education, fertility, and income. This new categorization goes beyond the historical “developed” versus “developing” or economic divisions based on income alone.
The six papers provide in-depth analyses of causes of death, maternal mortality, deaths of children under age 5, overall disease burden and life expectancy, years lived with disability, and the risk factors that lead to health loss.