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Annual Global Burden of Disease - 2016

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  • Annual Global Burden of Disease - 2016


    The annual Global Burden of Disease study (GBD) found that since 2006, substantial progress has been made in driving down death rates from some of the world’s most pernicious diseases and conditions. Among the leading drivers of the overall disease burden, lower respiratory infections, diarrhea, neonatal preterm birth, HIV/AIDS, and malaria, all declined by 30% or more in just one decade.

    Moreover, in 2016, for the first time in modern history, fewer than 5 million children under age 5 died in one year, as compared to 1990 when 11 million died.
    Researchers attribute this global health landmark to improvements in increased educational levels of mothers, rising per capita incomes, declining levels of fertility, increased vaccination programs, mass distribution of insecticide-treated bed nets, improved water and sanitation, and a wide array of other health programs funded by development funding for health.


    One of the most alarming risks in the GBD is excess body weight. The rate of illness related to people being too heavy is rising quickly, and the disease burden can be found in all sociodemographic levels. High body mass index (BMI) is the fourth largest contributor to the loss of healthy life, after high blood pressure, smoking, and high blood sugar.


    The study’s other findings include:
    • Poor diet was associated with nearly one in five deaths globally.
    • Non-communicable diseases were responsible for 72% of all deaths worldwide in 2016, in contrast to 58% in 1990. Within the past decade, diabetes rose in rank order from the 17th to the 9th leading cause of death in low-middle income countries.
    • Tobacco was linked to 7.1 million deaths and, in more than 100 countries, smoking was among the top risk factors for loss of healthy life.
    • The leading causes of disease burden globally included: ischemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, lower respiratory infections, low back and neck pain, diarrhea-related diseases, and road injuries.
    • Among countries with populations greater than 1 million, the highest life expectancy at birth in 2016 was in Japan for women (86.9 years) and Singapore for men (81.3 years).
    • Several “exemplar countries” – including Ethiopia, Niger, Portugal, Peru, and the Maldives – had higher life expectancies than would be expected based on their levels of development alone. Ethiopia’s life expectancy is five years longer than would be expected; in Peru and Niger, it is about six years longer.
    • Only four of the leading 20 causes of disability in 2016 – stroke, COPD, diabetes, and falls –were also leading causes of death.
    ?Addressing chronic disease is an issue of human rights ? that must be our call to arms"
    Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief The Lancet

    ~~~~ Twitter:@GertvanderHoek ~~~ ~~~