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Regular version of the site
Of all publications in the section: 583
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Article
Novitski Nikolai, Tervaniemi M., Huotilainen M. et al. Cognitive Brain Research. 2004. Vol. 20. P. 26-36.

The present study systematically compared the neural and behavioral accuracy of discriminating a frequency change (“deviant”) in a repetitive tone (“standard”) across a frequency range of 250–4000 Hz. The sound structure (pure sinusoidal vs. harmonically rich tones) and the magnitude of frequency change (2.5%, 5%, 10%, 20%) were also varied. The accuracy of neural frequency-change detector was determined by comparing the auditory event-related potentials (ERP) elicited by deviant and standard stimuli in the absence of attention. In a separate behavioral task, subjects were to indicate when they noticed a frequency change. The ranges of the across-subject means of ERP parameters across the conditions were: the mismatch negativity (MMN) amplitude −0.9 to −4.9 μV, latency 125–218 ms, the P3a amplitude 0.3–3.2 μV, latency 239–304 ms. The ERP latency was shortest for the standard-stimulus frequency from 1000 to 2000 Hz suggesting that automatic frequency discrimination was the most accurate in that range. The ERP latencies and amplitudes correlated with the hit rate (HR) and reaction time (RT), with highest correlation found between the MMN amplitude and the HR (r=0.8). The harmonical tones elicited MMN and P3a with shorter latencies and larger amplitudes, than did pure sinusoidal tones in all frequency bands. The results may have implication to pitch-perception theories

Added: Jul 10, 2015
Article
Nikolai Novitski, Maess B., Tervaniemi M. Journal of Neuroscience Methods. 2006. Vol. 155. P. 149-159.

The loud acoustic noise produced by the magnetic resonance scanner is a major source of interference in auditory fMRI research. Whole-head magnetoencephalography (MEG) was used to investigate the interaction between the frequency range of auditory stimulation and fMRI acoustic noise. Pure tones and 3-harmonic complexes varying between 240 and 1240 Hz in frequency were presented while participants attended to a silent subtitled film. Continuous fMRI acoustic noise was presented during half of the blocks. The activity in six regions of interest was analyzed in 100–200 and 200–300 ms time windows to evaluate the magnetic counterparts of the mismatch negativity (MMN) and P3a brain responses. The results suggested that fMRI noise significantly reduced the amplitude of these responses. The effect of the noise on the automatic processing of the tones was more prominent for the tones with frequencies higher than 500 Hz. It is recommended that in the MMN protocols using continuous fMRI acquisition the sound stimuli should be spectrally separated from the fMRI scanner noise spectrum.

Added: Jul 10, 2015
Article
Hohlefeld F., Huchzermeyer C., Huebl J. et al. Neuroscience. 2013. No. 250. P. 320-332.

In Parkinson's disease (PD) levodopa-associated changes in the power and long-range temporal correlations of beta oscillations have been demonstrated, yet the presence and modulation of genuine connectivity in local field potentials (LFP) recorded from the subthalamic nucleus (STN) remains an open question. The present study investigated LFP recorded bilaterally from the STN at wakeful rest in ten patients with PD after overnight withdrawal of levodopa (OFF) and after a single dose levodopa administration (ON). We utilized connectivity measures being insensitive to volume conduction (functional connectivity: non-zero imaginary part of coherency; effective connectivity: phase-slope index). We demonstrated the presence of neuronal interactions in the frequency range of 10-30 Hz in STN-LFP without a preferential directionality of interactions between different contacts along the electrode tracks. While the direction of neuronal interactions per se was preserved after levodopa administration, functional connectivity and the ventral-dorsal information flow were modulated by medication. The OFF-ON differences in functional connectivity were correlated with the levodopa-induced improvement in clinical Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale scores. We hypothesize that regional neuronal interactions, as reflected in STN-LFP connectivity, might represent a basis for the intra-nuclear spatial specificity of deep brain stimulation. Moreover, our results suggest the potential use of volume conduction-insensitive measures of connectivity in STN-LFP as a marker of clinical motor symptoms in PD.

Added: Oct 23, 2014
Article
Vlassov V. The Lancet. 2014. Vol. 385. No. 9963. P. 117-171.

Background Up-to-date evidence on levels and trends for age-sex-specific all-cause and cause-specific mortality is essential for the formation of global, regional, and national health policies. In the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013 (GBD 2013) we estimated yearly deaths for 188 countries between 1990, and 2013. We used the results to assess whether there is epidemiological convergence across countries. Methods We estimated age-sex-specific all-cause mortality using the GBD 2010 methods with some refinements to improve accuracy applied to an updated database of vital registration, survey, and census data. We generally estimated cause of death as in the GBD 2010. Key improvements included the addition of more recent vital registration data for 72 countries, an updated verbal autopsy literature review, two new and detailed data systems for China, and more detail for Mexico, UK, Turkey, and Russia. We improved statistical models for garbage code redistribution. We used six different modelling strategies across the 240 causes; cause of death ensemble modelling (CODEm) was the dominant strategy for causes with sufficient information. Trends for Alzheimer's disease and other dementias were informed by meta-regression of prevalence studies. For pathogen-specific causes of diarrhoea and lower respiratory infections we used a counterfactual approach. We computed two measures of convergence (inequality) across countries: the average relative difference across all pairs of countries (Gini coefficient) and the average absolute difference across countries. To summarise broad findings, we used multiple decrement life-tables to decompose probabilities of death from birth to exact age 15 years, from exact age 15 years to exact age 50 years, and from exact age 50 years to exact age 75 years, and life expectancy at birth into major causes. For all quantities reported, we computed 95% uncertainty intervals (UIs). We constrained cause-specific fractions within each age-sex-country-year group to sum to all-cause mortality based on draws from the uncertainty distributions. Findings Global life expectancy for both sexes increased from 65·3 years (UI 65·0–65·6) in 1990, to 71·5 years (UI 71·0–71·9) in 2013, while the number of deaths increased from 47·5 million (UI 46·8–48·2) to 54·9 million (UI 53·6–56·3) over the same interval. Global progress masked variation by age and sex: for children, average absolute differences between countries decreased but relative differences increased. For women aged 25–39 years and older than 75 years and for men aged 20–49 years and 65 years and older, both absolute and relative differences increased. Decomposition of global and regional life expectancy showed the prominent role of reductions in age-standardised death rates for cardiovascular diseases and cancers in high-income regions, and reductions in child deaths from diarrhoea, lower respiratory infections, and neonatal causes in low-income regions. HIV/AIDS reduced life expectancy in southern sub-Saharan Africa. For most communicable causes of death both numbers of deaths and age-standardised death rates fell whereas for most non-communicable causes, demographic shifts have increased numbers of deaths but decreased age-standardised death rates. Global deaths from injury increased by 10·7%, from 4·3 million deaths in 1990 to 4·8 million in 2013; but age-standardised rates declined over the same period by 21%. For some causes of more than 100 000 deaths per year in 2013, age-standardised death rates increased between 1990 and 2013, including HIV/AIDS, pancreatic cancer, atrial fibrillation and flutter, drug use disorders, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and sickle-cell anaemias. Diarrhoeal diseases, lower respiratory infections, neonatal causes, and malaria are still in the top five causes of death in children younger than 5 years. The most important pathogens are rotavirus for diarrhoea and pneumococcus for lower respiratory infections. Country-specific probabilities of death over three phases of life were substantially varied between and within regions. Interpretation For most countries, the general pattern of reductions in age-sex specific mortality has been associated with a progressive shift towards a larger share of the remaining deaths caused by non-communicable disease and injuries. Assessing epidemiological convergence across countries depends on whether an absolute or relative measure of inequality is used. Nevertheless, age-standardised death rates for seven substantial causes are increasing, suggesting the potential for reversals in some countries. Important gaps exist in the empirical data for cause of death estimates for some countries; for example, no national data for India are available for the past decade.

Added: Feb 13, 2015
Article
Volodina M., Vishnyakova P., Tarasova N. et al. Scientific Reports. 2019. Vol. 9. No. 1. P. 1-11.

Calcium plays a role of universal cellular regulator in the living cell and one of the crucial regulators of proper fetal development during gestation. Mitochondria are important for intracellular calcium handling and signaling. Mitochondrial calcium uniporter (mtCU) is a multiprotein complex of the mitochondrial inner membrane responsible for the transport of calcium to the mitochondrial matrix. In the present study, we analyzed the expression level of mtCU components in two parts of the feto-maternal system - placenta and myometrium at full-term delivery and at preterm birth (PTB) on different stages: 22-27, 28-32, 33-36 weeks of gestation (n = 50). A gradual increase of mRNA expression and changes in protein content of MCU and MICU1 subunits were revealed in the placenta during gestation. We also observed slower depolarization rate of isolated placental mitochondria induced by Ca2+ titration at PTB. In myometrium at PTB relative gene expression level of MCU, MCUb and SMDT1 increased as compared to full-term pregnancy, but the tendency to gradual increase of MCU protein simultaneous with MCUb increase and MICU1 decline was shown in gestational dynamics. Changes observed in the present study might be considered both natural dynamics as well as possible pathological mechanisms underlying preterm birth.

Added: May 15, 2019
Article
Vlassov V. JAMA Pediatrics. 2016. Vol. 170. No. 3. P. 267-287.

Importance  The literature focuses on mortality among children younger than 5 years. Comparable information on nonfatal health outcomes among these children and the fatal and nonfatal burden of diseases and injuries among older children and adolescents is scarce.

Objective  To determine levels and trends in the fatal and nonfatal burden of diseases and injuries among younger children (aged <5 years), older children (aged 5-9 years), and adolescents (aged 10-19 years) between 1990 and 2013 in 188 countries from the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2013 study.

Evidence Review  Data from vital registration, verbal autopsy studies, maternal and child death surveillance, and other sources covering 14 244 site-years (ie, years of cause of death data by geography) from 1980 through 2013 were used to estimate cause-specific mortality. Data from 35 620 epidemiological sources were used to estimate the prevalence of the diseases and sequelae in the GBD 2013 study. Cause-specific mortality for most causes was estimated using the Cause of Death Ensemble Model strategy. For some infectious diseases (eg, HIV infection/AIDS, measles, hepatitis B) where the disease process is complex or the cause of death data were insufficient or unavailable, we used natural history models. For most nonfatal health outcomes, DisMod-MR 2.0, a Bayesian metaregression tool, was used to meta-analyze the epidemiological data to generate prevalence estimates.

Findings  Of the 7.7 (95% uncertainty interval [UI], 7.4-8.1) million deaths among children and adolescents globally in 2013, 6.28 million occurred among younger children, 0.48 million among older children, and 0.97 million among adolescents. In 2013, the leading causes of death were lower respiratory tract infections among younger children (905 059 deaths; 95% UI, 810 304-998 125), diarrheal diseases among older children (38 325 deaths; 95% UI, 30 365-47 678), and road injuries among adolescents (115 186 deaths; 95% UI, 105 185-124 870). Iron deficiency anemia was the leading cause of years lived with disability among children and adolescents, affecting 619 (95% UI, 618-621) million in 2013. Large between-country variations exist in mortality from leading causes among children and adolescents. Countries with rapid declines in all-cause mortality between 1990 and 2013 also experienced large declines in most leading causes of death, whereas countries with the slowest declines had stagnant or increasing trends in the leading causes of death. In 2013, Nigeria had a 12% global share of deaths from lower respiratory tract infections and a 38% global share of deaths from malaria. India had 33% of the world’s deaths from neonatal encephalopathy. Half of the world’s diarrheal deaths among children and adolescents occurred in just 5 countries: India, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pakistan, Nigeria, and Ethiopia.

Conclusions and Relevance  Understanding the levels and trends of the leading causes of death and disability among children and adolescents is critical to guide investment and inform policies. Monitoring these trends over time is also key to understanding where interventions are having an impact. Proven interventions exist to prevent or treat the leading causes of unnecessary death and disability among children and adolescents. The findings presented here show that these are underused and give guidance to policy makers in countries where more attention is needed.

 

Added: Dec 22, 2015
Article
Vlassov V. JAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association. 2017. Vol. 317. No. 2. P. 165-182.

Importance  Elevated systolic blood (SBP) pressure is a leading global health risk. Quantifying the levels of SBP is important to guide prevention policies and interventions.

Objective  To estimate the association between SBP of at least 110 to 115 mm Hg and SBP of 140 mm Hg or higher and the burden of different causes of death and disability by age and sex for 195 countries and territories, 1990-2015.

Design  A comparative risk assessment of health loss related to SBP. Estimated distribution of SBP was based on 844 studies from 154 countries (published 1980-2015) of 8.69 million participants. Spatiotemporal Gaussian process regression was used to generate estimates of mean SBP and adjusted variance for each age, sex, country, and year. Diseases with sufficient evidence for a causal relationship with high SBP (eg, ischemic heart disease, ischemic stroke, and hemorrhagic stroke) were included in the primary analysis.

Main Outcomes and Measures  Mean SBP level, cause-specific deaths, and health burden related to SBP (≥110-115 mm Hg and also ≥140 mm Hg) by age, sex, country, and year.

Results  Between 1990-2015, the rate of SBP of at least 110 to 115 mm Hg increased from 73 119 (95% uncertainty interval [UI], 67 949-78 241) to 81 373 (95% UI, 76 814-85 770) per 100 000, and SBP of 140 mm Hg or higher increased from 17 307 (95% UI, 17 117-17 492) to 20 526 (95% UI, 20 283-20 746) per 100 000. The estimated annual death rate per 100 000 associated with SBP of at least 110 to 115 mm Hg increased from 135.6 (95% UI, 122.4-148.1) to 145.2 (95% UI 130.3-159.9) and the rate for SBP of 140 mm Hg or higher increased from 97.9 (95% UI, 87.5-108.1) to 106.3 (95% UI, 94.6-118.1). Loss of disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) associated with SBP of at least 110 to 115 mm Hg increased from 148 million (95% UI, 134-162 million) to 211 million (95% UI, 193-231 million), and for SBP of 140 mm Hg or higher, the loss increased from 5.2 million (95% UI, 4.6-5.7 million) to 7.8 million (95% UI, 7.0-8.7 million). The largest numbers of SBP-related deaths were caused by ischemic heart disease (4.9 million [95% UI, 4.0-5.7 million]; 54.5%), hemorrhagic stroke (2.0 million [95% UI, 1.6-2.3 million]; 58.3%), and ischemic stroke (1.5 million [95% UI, 1.2-1.8 million]; 50.0%). In 2015, China, India, Russia, Indonesia, and the United States accounted for more than half of the global DALYs related to SBP of at least 110 to 115 mm Hg.

Conclusions and Relevance  In international surveys, although there is uncertainty in some estimates, the rate of elevated SBP (≥110-115 and ≥140 mm Hg) increased substantially between 1990 and 2015, and DALYs and deaths associated with elevated SBP also increased. Projections based on this sample suggest that in 2015, an estimated 3.5 billion adults had SBP of at least 110 to 115 mm Hg and 874 million adults had SBP of 140 mm Hg or higher.

Added: Jan 11, 2017
Article
Feigin V. L., Roth G. A., Naghavi M. et al. The Lancet Neurology. 2016. Vol. 15. No. 9. P. 913-924.

Background

The contribution of modifiable risk factors to the increasing global and regional burden of stroke is unclear, but knowledge about this contribution is crucial for informing stroke prevention strategies. We used data from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013 (GBD 2013) to estimate the population-attributable fraction (PAF) of stroke-related disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) associated with potentially modifiable environmental, occupational, behavioural, physiological, and metabolic risk factors in different age and sex groups worldwide and in high-income countries and low-income and middle-income countries, from 1990 to 2013.

Methods

We used data on stroke-related DALYs, risk factors, and PAF from the GBD 2013 Study to estimate the burden of stroke by age and sex (with corresponding 95% uncertainty intervals [UI]) in 188 countries, as measured with stroke-related DALYs in 1990 and 2013. We evaluated attributable DALYs for 17 risk factors (air pollution and environmental, dietary, physical activity, tobacco smoke, and physiological) and six clusters of risk factors by use of three inputs: risk factor exposure, relative risks, and the theoretical minimum risk exposure level. For most risk factors, we synthesised data for exposure with a Bayesian meta-regression method (DisMod-MR) or spatial-temporal Gaussian process regression. We based relative risks on meta-regressions of published cohort and intervention studies. Attributable burden for clusters of risks and all risks combined took into account evidence on the mediation of some risks, such as high body-mass index (BMI), through other risks, such as high systolic blood pressure (SBP) and high total cholesterol.

Findings

Globally, 90·5% (95% UI 88·5–92·2) of the stroke burden (as measured in DALYs) was attributable to the modifiable risk factors analysed, including 74·2% (95% UI 70·7–76·7) due to behavioural factors (smoking, poor diet, and low physical activity). Clusters of metabolic factors (high SBP, high BMI, high fasting plasma glucose, high total cholesterol, and low glomerular filtration rate; 72·4%, 95% UI 70·2–73·5) and environmental factors (air pollution and lead exposure; 33·4%, 95% UI 32·4–34·3) were the second and third largest contributors to DALYs. Globally, 29·2% (95% UI 28·2–29·6) of the burden of stroke was attributed to air pollution. Although globally there were no significant differences between sexes in the proportion of stroke burden due to behavioural, environmental, and metabolic risk clusters, in the low-income and middle-income countries, the PAF of behavioural risk clusters in males was greater than in females. The PAF of all risk factors increased from 1990 to 2013 (except for second-hand smoking and household air pollution from solid fuels) and varied significantly between countries.

Interpretation

Our results suggest that more than 90% of the stroke burden is attributable to modifiable risk factors, and achieving control of behavioural and metabolic risk factors could avert more than three-quarters of the global stroke burden. Air pollution has emerged as a significant contributor to global stroke burden, especially in low-income and middle-income countries, and therefore reducing exposure to air pollution should be one of the main priorities to reduce stroke burden in these countries.

Funding

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, American Heart Association, US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Columbia University, Health Research Council of New Zealand, Brain Research New Zealand Centre of Research Excellence, and National Science Challenge, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment of New Zealand.

Added: Jun 10, 2016
Article
Vlassov V. The Lancet. 2017. Vol. 390. No. 10100. P. 1151-1210.

Background

Monitoring levels and trends in premature mortality is crucial to understanding how societies can address prominent sources of early death. The Global Burden of Disease 2016 Study (GBD 2016) provides a comprehensive assessment of cause-specific mortality for 264 causes in 195 locations from 1980 to 2016. This assessment includes evaluation of the expected epidemiological transition with changes in development and where local patterns deviate from these trends.

Methods

We estimated cause-specific deaths and years of life lost (YLLs) by age, sex, geography, and year. YLLs were calculated from the sum of each death multiplied by the standard life expectancy at each age. We used the GBD cause of death database composed of: vital registration (VR) data corrected for under-registration and garbage coding; national and subnational verbal autopsy (VA) studies corrected for garbage coding; and other sources including surveys and surveillance systems for specific causes such as maternal mortality. To facilitate assessment of quality, we reported on the fraction of deaths assigned to GBD Level 1 or Level 2 causes that cannot be underlying causes of death (major garbage codes) by location and year. Based on completeness, garbage coding, cause list detail, and time periods covered, we provided an overall data quality rating for each location with scores ranging from 0 stars (worst) to 5 stars (best). We used robust statistical methods including the Cause of Death Ensemble model (CODEm) to generate estimates for each location, year, age, and sex. We assessed observed and expected levels and trends of cause-specific deaths in relation to the Socio-demographic Index (SDI), a summary indicator derived from measures of average income per capita, educational attainment, and total fertility, with locations grouped into quintiles by SDI. Relative to GBD 2015, we expanded the GBD cause hierarchy by 18 causes of death for GBD 2016.

Findings

The quality of available data varied by location. Data quality in 25 countries rated in the highest category (5 stars), while 48, 30, 21, and 44 countries were rated at each of the succeeding data quality levels. Vital registration or verbal autopsy data were not available in 27 countries, resulting in the assignment of a zero value for data quality. Deaths from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) represented 72·3% (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 71·2–73·2) of deaths in 2016 with 19·3% (18·5–20·4) of deaths in that year occurring from communicable, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional (CMNN) diseases and a further 8·43% (8·00–8·67) from injuries. Although age-standardised rates of death from NCDs decreased globally between 2006 and 2016, total numbers of these deaths increased; both numbers and age-standardised rates of death from CMNN causes decreased in the decade 2006–16—age-standardised rates of deaths from injuries decreased but total numbers varied little. In 2016, the three leading global causes of death in children under-5 were lower respiratory infections, neonatal preterm birth complications, and neonatal encephalopathy due to birth asphyxia and trauma, combined resulting in 1·80 million deaths (95% UI 1·59 million to 1·89 million). Between 1990 and 2016, a profound shift toward deaths at older ages occurred with a 178% (95% UI 176–181) increase in deaths in ages 90–94 years and a 210% (208–212) increase in deaths older than age 95 years. The ten leading causes by rates of age-standardised YLL significantly decreased from 2006 to 2016 (median annualised rate of change was a decrease of 2·89%); the median annualised rate of change for all other causes was lower (a decrease of 1·59%) during the same interval. Globally, the five leading causes of total YLLs in 2016 were cardiovascular diseases; diarrhoea, lower respiratory infections, and other common infectious diseases; neoplasms; neonatal disorders; and HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. At a finer level of disaggregation within cause groupings, the ten leading causes of total YLLs in 2016 were ischaemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, lower respiratory infections, diarrhoeal diseases, road injuries, malaria, neonatal preterm birth complications, HIV/AIDS, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and neonatal encephalopathy due to birth asphyxia and trauma. Ischaemic heart disease was the leading cause of total YLLs in 113 countries for men and 97 countries for women. Comparisons of observed levels of YLLs by countries, relative to the level of YLLs expected on the basis of SDI alone, highlighted distinct regional patterns including the greater than expected level of YLLs from malaria and from HIV/AIDS across sub-Saharan Africa; diabetes mellitus, especially in Oceania; interpersonal violence, notably within Latin America and the Caribbean; and cardiomyopathy and myocarditis, particularly in eastern and central Europe. The level of YLLs from ischaemic heart disease was less than expected in 117 of 195 locations. Other leading causes of YLLs for which YLLs were notably lower than expected included neonatal preterm birth complications in many locations in both south Asia and southeast Asia, and cerebrovascular disease in western Europe.

Interpretation

The past 37 years have featured declining rates of communicable, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional diseases across all quintiles of SDI, with faster than expected gains for many locations relative to their SDI. A global shift towards deaths at older ages suggests success in reducing many causes of early death. YLLs have increased globally for causes such as diabetes mellitus or some neoplasms, and in some locations for causes such as drug use disorders, and conflict and terrorism. Increasing levels of YLLs might reflect outcomes from conditions that required high levels of care but for which effective treatments remain elusive, potentially increasing costs to health systems.

 

Added: Sep 15, 2017
Article
Vlassov V. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2017. Vol. 70. No. 1. P. 1-25.

BACKGROUND:

The burden of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) remains unclear in many regions of the world.

OBJECTIVES:

The GBD (Global Burden of Disease) 2015 study integrated data on disease incidence, prevalence, and mortality to produce consistent, up-to-date estimates for cardiovascular burden.

METHODS:

CVD mortality was estimated from vital registration and verbal autopsy data. CVD prevalence was estimated using modeling software and data from health surveys, prospective cohorts, health system administrative data, and registries. Years lived with disability (YLD) were estimated by multiplying prevalence by disability weights. Years of life lost (YLL) were estimated by multiplying age-specific CVD deaths by a reference life expectancy. A sociodemographic index (SDI) was created for each location based on income per capita, educational attainment, and fertility.

RESULTS:

In 2015, there were an estimated 422.7 million cases of CVD (95% uncertainty interval: 415.53 to 427.87 million cases) and 17.92 million CVD deaths (95% uncertainty interval: 17.59 to 18.28 million CVD deaths). Declines in the age-standardized CVD death rate occurred between 1990 and 2015 in all high-income and some middle-income countries. Ischemic heart disease was the leading cause of CVD health lost globally, as well as in each world region, followed by stroke. As SDI increased beyond 0.25, the highest CVD mortality shifted from women to men. CVD mortality decreased sharply for both sexes in countries with an SDI >0.75.

CONCLUSIONS:

CVDs remain a major cause of health loss for all regions of the world. Sociodemographic change over the past 25 years has been associated with dramatic declines in CVD in regions with very high SDI, but only a gradual decrease or no change in most regions. Future updates of the GBD study can be used to guide policymakers who are focused on reducing the overall burden of noncommunicable disease and achieving specific global health targets for CVD.

Added: May 27, 2017
Article
Vlassov V. The Lancet Neurology. 2017. Vol. 16. No. 11. P. 877-897.

Background

Comparable data on the global and country-specific burden of neurological disorders and their trends are crucial for health-care planning and resource allocation. The Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors (GBD) Study provides such information but does not routinely aggregate results that are of interest to clinicians specialising in neurological conditions. In this systematic analysis, we quantified the global disease burden due to neurological disorders in 2015 and its relationship with country development level.

Methods

We estimated global and country-specific prevalence, mortality, disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs), years of life lost (YLLs), and years lived with disability (YLDs) for various neurological disorders that in the GBD classification have been previously spread across multiple disease groupings. The more inclusive grouping of neurological disorders included stroke, meningitis, encephalitis, tetanus, Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, motor neuron disease, migraine, tension-type headache, medication overuse headache, brain and nervous system cancers, and a residual category of other neurological disorders. We also analysed results based on the Socio-demographic Index (SDI), a compound measure of income per capita, education, and fertility, to identify patterns associated with development and how countries fare against expected outcomes relative to their level of development.

Findings

Neurological disorders ranked as the leading cause group of DALYs in 2015 (250·7 [95% uncertainty interval (UI) 229·1 to 274·7] million, comprising 10·2% of global DALYs) and the second-leading cause group of deaths (9·4 [9·1 to 9·7] million], comprising 16·8% of global deaths). The most prevalent neurological disorders were tension-type headache (1505·9 [UI 1337·3 to 1681·6 million cases]), migraine (958·8 [872·1 to 1055·6] million), medication overuse headache (58·5 [50·8 to 67·4 million]), and Alzheimer's disease and other dementias (46·0 [40·2 to 52·7 million]). Between 1990 and 2015, the number of deaths from neurological disorders increased by 36·7%, and the number of DALYs by 7·4%. These increases occurred despite decreases in age-standardised rates of death and DALYs of 26·1% and 29·7%, respectively; stroke and communicable neurological disorders were responsible for most of these decreases. Communicable neurological disorders were the largest cause of DALYs in countries with low SDI. Stroke rates were highest at middle levels of SDI and lowest at the highest SDI. Most of the changes in DALY rates of neurological disorders with development were driven by changes in YLLs.

Interpretation

Neurological disorders are an important cause of disability and death worldwide. Globally, the burden of neurological disorders has increased substantially over the past 25 years because of expanding population numbers and ageing, despite substantial decreases in mortality rates from stroke and communicable neurological disorders. The number of patients who will need care by clinicians with expertise in neurological conditions will continue to grow in coming decades. Policy makers and health-care providers should be aware of these trends to provide adequate services.

 

Added: Sep 20, 2017
Article
Vlassov V. JAMA oncology. 2018. Vol. 4. No. 11. P. 1553-1568.

Importance:

The increasing burden due to cancer and other noncommunicable diseases poses a threat to human development, which has resulted in global political commitments reflected in the Sustainable Development Goals as well as the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Action Plan on Non-Communicable Diseases. To determine if these commitments have resulted in improved cancer control, quantitative assessments of the cancer burden are required.

Objective:

To assess the burden for 29 cancer groups over time to provide a framework for policy discussion, resource allocation, and research focus.

Evidence Review:

Cancer incidence, mortality, years lived with disability, years of life lost, and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) were evaluated for 195 countries and territories by age and sex using the Global Burden of Disease study estimation methods. Levels and trends were analyzed over time, as well as by the Sociodemographic Index (SDI). Changes in incident cases were categorized by changes due to epidemiological vs demographic transition.

Findings:

In 2016, there were 17.2 million cancer cases worldwide and 8.9 million deaths. Cancer cases increased by 28% between 2006 and 2016. The smallest increase was seen in high SDI countries. Globally, population aging contributed 17%; population growth, 12%; and changes in age-specific rates, -1% to this change. The most common incident cancer globally for men was prostate cancer (1.4 million cases). The leading cause of cancer deaths and DALYs was tracheal, bronchus, and lung cancer (1.2 million deaths and 25.4 million DALYs). For women, the most common incident cancer and the leading cause of cancer deaths and DALYs was breast cancer (1.7 million incident cases, 535 000 deaths, and 14.9 million DALYs). In 2016, cancer caused 213.2 million DALYs globally for both sexes combined. Between 2006 and 2016, the average annual age-standardized incidence rates for all cancers combined increased in 130 of 195 countries or territories, and the average annual age-standardized death rates decreased within that timeframe in 143 of 195 countries or territories.

Conclusions and Relevance:

Large disparities exist between countries in cancer incidence, deaths, and associated disability. Scaling up cancer prevention and ensuring universal access to cancer care are required for health equity and to fulfill the global commitments for noncommunicable disease and cancer control.

 

Added: Jun 5, 2018
Article
Vlassov V. JAMA oncology. 2017. Vol. 3. No. 4. P. 524-548.

Importance:

Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide. Current estimates on the burden of cancer are needed for cancer control planning.

Objective:

To estimate mortality, incidence, years lived with disability (YLDs), years of life lost (YLLs), and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) for 32 cancers in 195 countries and territories from 1990 to 2015.

Evidence Review:

Cancer mortality was estimated using vital registration system data, cancer registry incidence data (transformed to mortality estimates using separately estimated mortality to incidence [MI] ratios), and verbal autopsy data. Cancer incidence was calculated by dividing mortality estimates through the modeled MI ratios. To calculate cancer prevalence, MI ratios were used to model survival. To calculate YLDs, prevalence estimates were multiplied by disability weights. The YLLs were estimated by multiplying age-specific cancer deaths by the reference life expectancy. DALYs were estimated as the sum of YLDs and YLLs. A sociodemographic index (SDI) was created for each location based on income per capita, educational attainment, and fertility. Countries were categorized by SDI quintiles to summarize results.

Findings:

In 2015, there were 17.5 million cancer cases worldwide and 8.7 million deaths. Between 2005 and 2015, cancer cases increased by 33%, with population aging contributing 16%, population growth 13%, and changes in age-specific rates contributing 4%. For men, the most common cancer globally was prostate cancer (1.6 million cases). Tracheal, bronchus, and lung cancer was the leading cause of cancer deaths and DALYs in men (1.2 million deaths and 25.9 million DALYs). For women, the most common cancer was breast cancer (2.4 million cases). Breast cancer was also the leading cause of cancer deaths and DALYs for women (523 000 deaths and 15.1 million DALYs). Overall, cancer caused 208.3 million DALYs worldwide in 2015 for both sexes combined. Between 2005 and 2015, age-standardized incidence rates for all cancers combined increased in 174 of 195 countries or territories. Age-standardized death rates (ASDRs) for all cancers combined decreased within that timeframe in 140 of 195 countries or territories. Countries with an increase in the ASDR due to all cancers were largely located on the African continent. Of all cancers, deaths between 2005 and 2015 decreased significantly for Hodgkin lymphoma (-6.1% [95% uncertainty interval (UI), -10.6% to -1.3%]). The number of deaths also decreased for esophageal cancer, stomach cancer, and chronic myeloid leukemia, although these results were not statistically significant.

Conclusion and Relevance:

As part of the epidemiological transition, cancer incidence is expected to increase in the future, further straining limited health care resources. Appropriate allocation of resources for cancer prevention, early diagnosis, and curative and palliative care requires detailed knowledge of the local burden of cancer. The GBD 2015 study results demonstrate that progress is possible in the war against cancer. However, the major findings also highlight an unmet need for cancer prevention efforts, including tobacco control, vaccination, and the promotion of physical activity and a healthy diet.

 

Added: Dec 25, 2016
Article
Vlassov V. The Lancet. 2015. Vol. 386. No. 10010. P. 2287-2323.

Background The Global Burden of Disease, Injuries, and Risk Factor study 2013 (GBD 2013) is the first of a series of annual updates of the GBD. Risk factor quantification, particularly of modifiable risk factors, can help to identify emerging threats to population health and opportunities for prevention. The GBD 2013 provides a timely opportunity to update the comparative risk assessment with new data for exposure, relative risks, and evidence on the appropriate counterfactual risk distribution. Methods Attributable deaths, years of life lost, years lived with disability, and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) have been estimated for 79 risks or clusters of risks using the GBD 2010 methods. Risk–outcome pairs meeting explicit evidence criteria were assessed for 188 countries for the period 1990–2013 by age and sex using three inputs: risk exposure, relative risks, and the theoretical minimum risk exposure level (TMREL). Risks are organised into a hierarchy with blocks of behavioural, environmental and occupational, and metabolic risks at the first level of the hierarchy. The next level in the hierarchy includes nine clusters of related risks and two individual risks, with more detail provided at levels 3 and 4 of the hierarchy. Compared with GBD 2010, six new risk factors have been added: handwashing practices, occupational exposure to trichloroethylene, childhood wasting, childhood stunting, unsafe sex, and low glomerular filtration rate. For most risks, data for exposure were synthesised with a Bayesian meta-regression method, DisMod-MR 2.0, or spatial-temporal Gaussian process regression. Relative risks were based on meta-regressions of published cohort and intervention studies. Attributable burden for clusters of risks and all risks combined took into account evidence on the mediation of some risks such as high body-mass index (BMI) through other risks such as high systolic blood pressure and high cholesterol. Findings All risks combined account for 57·2% (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 55·8–58·5) of deaths and 41·6% (40·1–43·0) of DALYs. Risks quantified account for 87·9% (86·5–89·3) of cardiovascular disease DALYs, ranging to a low of 0% for neonatal disorders and neglected tropical diseases and malaria. In terms of global DALYs in 2013, six risks or clusters of risks each caused more than 5% of DALYs: dietary risks accounting for 11·3 million deaths and 241·4 million DALYs, high systolic blood pressure for 10·4 million deaths and 208·1 million DALYs, child and maternal malnutrition for 1·7 million deaths and 176·9 million DALYs, tobacco smoke for 6·1 million deaths and 143·5 million DALYs, air pollution for 5·5 million deaths and 141·5 million DALYs, and high BMI for 4·4 million deaths and 134·0 million DALYs. Risk factor patterns vary across regions and countries and with time. In sub-Saharan Africa, the leading risk factors are child and maternal malnutrition, unsafe sex, and unsafe water, sanitation, and handwashing. In women, in nearly all countries in the Americas, north Africa, and the Middle East, and in many other high-income countries, high BMI is the leading risk factor, with high systolic blood pressure as the leading risk in most of Central and Eastern Europe and south and east Asia. For men, high systolic blood pressure or tobacco use are the leading risks in nearly all high-income countries, in north Africa and the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. For men and women, unsafe sex is the leading risk in a corridor from Kenya to South Africa. Interpretation Behavioural, environmental and occupational, and metabolic risks can explain half of global mortality and more than one-third of global DALYs providing many opportunities for prevention. Of the larger risks, the attributable burden of high BMI has increased in the past 23 years. In view of the prominence of behavioural risk factors, behavioural and social science research on interventions for these risks should be strengthened. Many prevention and primary care policy options are available now to act on key risks.

Added: Sep 12, 2015
Article
Vlassov V. The Lancet. 2016. Vol. 388. No. 10053. P. 1-37.

Background The Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2015 (GBD 2015) provides an up to date synthesis of the evidence on risk factor exposure and the burden of disease attributable to these risks. By providing national and subnational assessments spanning 25 years, the GBD 2015 can help inform debates on the importance of addressing different risks in different contexts. Methods We used the comparative risk assessment (CRA) framework developed for previous iterations of the GBD study to estimate attributable deaths, DALYs, and trends in exposure by age group, sex, year, and geography for 79 behavioural, environmental and occupational, and metabolic risks or clusters of risks over the period 1990 to 2015. The GBD 2015 study included 388 risk-outcome pairs which met World Cancer Research Fund-defined criteria for convincing or probable evidence. Relative risk estimates were extracted from published and unpublished randomised controlled trials, cohorts, and pooled cohorts. Risk exposures were estimated based on published studies, household surveys, census data, satellite data, and other sources. Statistical models were used to pool data from different sources, adjust for bias in the data, and incorporate explanatory covariates. We developed a metric that allows comparisons of exposure across risk factors – the summary exposure value (SEV) – which is scaled so that 100% is the entire population at maximum risk, and 0% is everyone at lowest risk. Using the counterfactual scenario of theoretical minimum risk level (TMREL) – the level for a given risk that could minimise population level risk if achieved – we estimated the portion of the burden (deaths and DALYs) that could be attributed to a given risk. We decomposed trends in attributable burden into contributions from population growth, population age structure, risk exposure, and risk-deleted cause-specific DALY rates. We characterized how risk exposures change as countries  move through the development continuum. GBD 2015 follows the Guidelines for Accurate and Transparent Health Estimates Reporting (GATHER), and provides comprehensive and detailed information for the data sources, estimation methods, computational tools, and statistical analysis used to generate estimates of attributable burden. Findings Between 1990 and 2015, global exposure to unsafe sanitation, household air pollution, childhood underweight, childhood stunting and smoking fell more than 25%. Global exposure for several occupational risks, high body mass index, drug use and ambient air pollution increased more than 25% over the same period. All risks jointly evaluated in 2015 accounted for 58.0% (56.9-59.0%) of global deaths and 41.3% (39.9-42.9%) of DALYs; the largest fraction of  global DALYs was attributable to behavioural (30.3% [28.6-32.0%]). In 2015, the 10 largest Level 3 risks in terms of attributable DALYs at the global level were, in order: high systolic blood pressure (9.3% [8.3-10.3%] of global DALYs), smoking (6.0% [5.3-6.8%]), high fasting plasma glucose (5.8% [5.3-6.4%]), high body-mass index (4.9% [3.5-6.4%]), childhood undernutrition 4.6% [4.1-5.1%]), ambient particular matter (4.2% [3.6-4.8%]), high total cholesterol (3.6% [3- 4.3%]), household air pollution (3.5% [2.6-4.4%]), alcohol use (3.5% [3.1-3.8%]) and diets high in sodium (3.4% [2.0-5.3%]).Decomposition analysis showed that from 1990 to 2015 the number of attributable DALYs declined for micronutrient deficiencies, childhood undernutrition, unsafe sanitation and unsafe water, and household air pollution but most of these declines were driven by reductions in risk-deleted DALY rates and not reductions in exposure. For a wide range of risks, increases in attributable burden were driven by population growth and aging exceeding reductions from risk-deleted DALY rates with exposure change having only a minimal contribution. Rising exposure has contributed to notable increases in attributable DALYs from high body-mass index, high fasting plasma glucose, occupational carcinogens, and drug use. Our assessments of the relationships between increasing development, measured using the Sociodemographic Index, showed that some environmental risks and childhood undernutrition decline steadily with development while a number of risks like low physical activity, high body-mass index, high fasting plasma glucose, smoking and others increase with development until the highest quintile. At the country level, metabolic risks such as high BMI and high fasting plasma glucose increasingly emerged as the leading risk factors for attributable DALYs in 2015. Nonetheless, regional risk profiles showed sizeable heterogeneity, with smoking still ranked among the leading five risk factors for attributable DALYs in 140 countries, and childhood underweight and unsafe sex enduring as primary drivers of early death and disability in much of sub-Saharan Africa. Interpretation Declines in some key environmental risks such as water, sanitation, and household air pollution have contributed to declines in critical infectious diseases such as diarrhoeal diseases. Many risks do not appear to change as countries move through the development continuum and have not played a major role in trends of the last 25 years. Several key risks, including high BMI, high fasting plasma glucose, drug use, and some occupational exposures, are increasing and contributing to rising burden from some conditions; nevertheless these risks provide opportunities for intervention. Some highly preventable risks such as smoking remain major causes of attributable DALYs even as exposure is declining. Public policy needs to pay careful attention to the risks that are both major contributors to global burden and are increasing

Added: Aug 20, 2016
Article
Vlassov V. The Lancet. 2017. Vol. 390. No. 10100. P. 1345-1422.

Background

The Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2016 (GBD 2016) provides a comprehensive assessment of risk factor exposure and attributable burden of disease. By providing estimates over a long time series, this study can monitor risk exposure trends critical to health surveillance and inform policy debates on the importance of addressing risks in context.

Methods

We used the comparative risk assessment framework developed for previous iterations of GBD to estimate levels and trends in exposure, attributable deaths, and attributable disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs), by age group, sex, year, and location for 84 behavioural, environmental and occupational, and metabolic risks or clusters of risks from 1990 to 2016. This study included 481 risk-outcome pairs that met the GBD study criteria for convincing or probable evidence of causation. We extracted relative risk (RR) and exposure estimates from 22 717 randomised controlled trials, cohorts, pooled cohorts, household surveys, census data, satellite data, and other sources, according to the GBD 2016 source counting methods. Using the counterfactual scenario of theoretical minimum risk exposure level (TMREL), we estimated the portion of deaths and DALYs that could be attributed to a given risk. Finally, we explored four drivers of trends in attributable burden: population growth, population ageing, trends in risk exposure, and all other factors combined.

Findings

Since 1990, exposure increased significantly for 30 risks, did not change significantly for four risks, and decreased significantly for 31 risks. Among risks that are leading causes of burden of disease, child growth failure and household air pollution showed the most significant declines, while metabolic risks, such as body-mass index and high fasting plasma glucose, showed significant increases. In 2016, at Level 3 of the hierarchy, the three leading risk factors in terms of attributable DALYs at the global level for men were smoking (124·1 million DALYs [95% UI 111·2 million to 137·0 million]), high systolic blood pressure (122·2 million DALYs [110·3 million to 133·3 million], and low birthweight and short gestation (83·0 million DALYs [78·3 million to 87·7 million]), and for women, were high systolic blood pressure (89·9 million DALYs [80·9 million to 98·2 million]), high body-mass index (64·8 million DALYs [44·4 million to 87·6 million]), and high fasting plasma glucose (63·8 million DALYs [53·2 million to 76·3 million]). In 2016 in 113 countries, the leading risk factor in terms of attributable DALYs was a metabolic risk factor. Smoking remained among the leading five risk factors for DALYs for 109 countries, while low birthweight and short gestation was the leading risk factor for DALYs in 38 countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. In terms of important drivers of change in trends of burden attributable to risk factors, between 2006 and 2016 exposure to risks explains an 9·3% (6·9–11·6) decline in deaths and a 10·8% (8·3–13·1) decrease in DALYs at the global level, while population ageing accounts for 14·9% (12·7–17·5) of deaths and 6·2% (3·9–8·7) of DALYs, and population growth for 12·4% (10·1–14·9) of deaths and 12·4% (10·1–14·9) of DALYs. The largest contribution of trends in risk exposure to disease burden is seen between ages 1 year and 4 years, where a decline of 27·3% (24·9–29·7) of the change in DALYs between 2006 and 2016 can be attributed to declines in exposure to risks.

Interpretation

Increasingly detailed understanding of the trends in risk exposure and the RRs for each risk-outcome pair provide insights into both the magnitude of health loss attributable to risks and how modification of risk exposure has contributed to health trends. Metabolic risks warrant particular policy attention, due to their large contribution to global disease burden, increasing trends, and variable patterns across countries at the same level of development. GBD 2016 findings show that, while it has huge potential to improve health, risk modification has played a relatively small part in the past decade.

 

Added: Sep 15, 2017
Article
Vlassov V. The Lancet Respiratory Medicine. 2017. Vol. 5. No. 9. P. 691-706.

BACKGROUND:

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma are common diseases with a heterogeneous distribution worldwide. Here, we present methods and disease and risk estimates for COPD and asthma from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors (GBD) 2015 study. The GBD study provides annual updates on estimates of deaths, prevalence, and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), a summary measure of fatal and non-fatal disease outcomes, for over 300 diseases and injuries, for 188 countries from 1990 to the most recent year.

METHODS:

We estimated numbers of deaths due to COPD and asthma using the GBD Cause of Death Ensemble modelling (CODEm) tool. First, we analysed data from vital registration and verbal autopsy for the aggregate category of all chronic respiratory diseases. Subsequently, models were run for asthma and COPD relying on covariates to predict rates in countries that have incomplete or no vital registration data. Disease estimates for COPD and asthma were based on systematic reviews of published papers, unpublished reports, surveys, and health service encounter data from the USA. We used the Global Initiative of Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease spirometry-based definition as the reference for COPD and a reported diagnosis of asthma with current wheeze as the definition of asthma. We used a Bayesian meta-regression tool, DisMod-MR 2.1, to derive estimates of prevalence and incidence. We estimated population-attributable fractions for risk factors for COPD and asthma from exposure data, relative risks, and a theoretical minimum exposure level. Results were stratified by Socio-demographic Index (SDI), a composite measure of income per capita, mean years of education over the age of 15 years, and total fertility rate.

FINDINGS:

In 2015, 3·2 million people (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 3·1 million to 3·3 million) died from COPD worldwide, an increase of 11·6% (95% UI 5·3 to 19·8) compared with 1990. There was a decrease in age-standardised death rate of 41·9% (37·7 to 45·1) but this was counteracted by population growth and ageing of the global population. From 1990 to 2015, the prevalence of COPD increased by 44·2% (41·7 to 46·6), whereas age-standardised prevalence decreased by 14·7% (13·5 to 15·9). In 2015, 0·40 million people (0·36 million to 0·44 million) died from asthma, a decrease of 26·7% (-7·2 to 43·7) from 1990, and the age-standardised death rate decreased by 58·8% (39·0 to 69·0). The prevalence of asthma increased by 12·6% (9·0 to 16·4), whereas the age-standardised prevalence decreased by 17·7% (15·1 to 19·9). Age-standardised DALY rates due to COPD increased until the middle range of the SDI before reducing sharply. Age-standardised DALY rates due to asthma in both sexes decreased monotonically with rising SDI. The relation between with SDI and DALY rates due to asthma was attributed to variation in years of life lost (YLLs), whereas DALY rates due to COPD varied similarly for YLLs and years lived with disability across the SDI continuum. Smoking and ambient particulate matter were the main risk factors for COPD followed by household air pollution, occupational particulates, ozone, and secondhand smoke. Together, these risks explained 73·3% (95% UI 65·8 to 80·1) of DALYs due to COPD. Smoking and occupational asthmagens were the only risks quantified for asthma in GBD, accounting for 16·5% (14·6 to 18·7) of DALYs due to asthma.

INTERPRETATION:

Asthma was the most prevalent chronic respiratory disease worldwide in 2015, with twice the number of cases of COPD. Deaths from COPD were eight times more common than deaths from asthma. In 2015, COPD caused 2·6% of global DALYs and asthma 1·1% of global DALYs. Although there are laudable international collaborative efforts to make surveys of asthma and COPD more comparable, no consensus exists on case definitions and how to measure disease severity for population health measurements like GBD. Comparisons between countries and over time are important, as much of the chronic respiratory burden is either preventable or treatable with affordable interventions.

Added: Sep 15, 2017
Article
Vlassov V. The Lancet. 2015. Vol. 386. No. 10009. P. 2145-2191.

Background   The global burden of diseases, injuries and risk factors 2013 study (GBD 2013) seeks to synthesize all available epidemiological data using a coherent measurement framework, standardized estimation methods, and transparent data sources to facilitate comparisons of health loss across causes, age‐sex groups, and geographies and over time. The GBD can be used to generate summary measures such as disability adjusted life years (DALYs) and healthy life expectancy (HALE) that facilitate comparative assessments of broad epidemiological patterns across countries and time. These summary measures can also be used to quantify the component of variation in epidemiology that is related to socio‐ demographic development.   Methods   We used the published GBD 2013 age‐specific mortality, years of life lost (YLLs) and years lived with disability (YLDs) to compute DALYs and HALE for 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010, and 2013 for 188 countries. HALE was computed using the Sullivan method; 95% uncertainty intervals reflect uncertainty in age‐specific death rates and YLDs per capita for each country, age, sex, and year. DALYs for 306 causes for each country were computed as the sum of YLLs and YLDs; 95% uncertainty intervals reflect uncertainty in YLL and YLD rates. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) using hierarchical regression was applied to DALY rates by cause to decompose variance related to socio‐demographic status, GBD region, country variation within regions, and unexplained.       Findings Life expectancy at birth for the world for both sexes combined increased from 65.3 (65.0‐65.6) in 1990 to 71.5 (71.0‐71.9) in 2013, whereas over the same interval HALE at birth for both sexes combined increased from 56.9 (54.5‐59.1) to 62.3 (59.7‐64.8). Global DALYs numbers, rates and age‐standardized rates for communicable, maternal, neonatal and nutritional causes have been declining from 1990 to 2013. Non‐communicable disease DALY numbers are increasing, DALY rates are nearly constant and age‐ standardized DALYs are declining. From 2005 to 2013, the number of DALYs increased for a large number of specific non‐communicable diseases and for dengue, food borne trematodes and leishmaniasis (although in absolute terms these latter increases were small) and DALYs decreased for nearly all other causes. By 2013, the five leading causes of DALYs were ischemic heart disease, lower respiratory infections, cerebrovascular disease, low back & neck pain, and road injuries. SDS explains more than 50% of the variance for diarrhea, LRI and other common infectious diseases; maternal disorders; neonatal disorders; nutritional deficiencies, and musculoskeletal disorders. SDS explains very little of the variance in DALY rates for HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis; neglected tropical diseases; neoplasms; cardiovascular diseases; chronic respiratory diseases; diabetes, urogenital, blood, and endocrine diseases; and cirrhosis along with self‐harm, interpersonal violence, forces of nature, war and January 25, 2015: Confidential Draft-Do Not Cite or Distribute 2   legal intervention. A predictable shift in burden from YLLs to YLDs is associated with higher SDS driven by declines in YLLs and increases in YLDs from musculoskeletal disorders, neurological disorders and mental and substance abuse disorders. Country specific estimates of life expectancy and HALE show smaller increases in HALE than life expectancy in most countries. Leading causes of DALYs are highly variable across countries. Interpretation Global health is improving.  Population growth and aging drive up numbers of DALYs and crude rates remain relatively constant highlighting that progress in health does not mean less demands on health systems. The epidemiological transition interpreted as the structured change in burden with rising SDS is a useful construct but there is tremendous variation in burden of disease that is not associated with SDS highlighting the need for country‐specific assessments of DALYs and HALE to inform health policy debates.

Added: Aug 21, 2015
Article
Vlassov V. The Lancet. 2016. Vol. 388. No. 10053. P. 1603-1658.

Background

Healthy life expectancy (HALE) and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) provide summary measures of health across geographies and time that can inform assessments of epidemiological patterns and health system performance, help to prioritise investments in research and development, and monitor progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We aimed to provide updated HALE and DALYs for geographies worldwide and evaluate how disease burden changes with development.

Methods

We used results from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2015 (GBD 2015) for all-cause mortality, cause-specific mortality, and non-fatal disease burden to derive HALE and DALYs by sex for 195 countries and territories from 1990 to 2015. We calculated DALYs by summing years of life lost (YLLs) and years of life lived with disability (YLDs) for each geography, age group, sex, and year. We estimated HALE using the Sullivan method, which draws from age-specific death rates and YLDs per capita. We then assessed how observed levels of DALYs and HALE differed from expected trends calculated with the Socio-demographic Index (SDI), a composite indicator constructed from measures of income per capita, average years of schooling, and total fertility rate.

Findings

Total global DALYs remained largely unchanged from 1990 to 2015, with decreases in communicable, neonatal, maternal, and nutritional (Group 1) disease DALYs offset by increased DALYs due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Much of this epidemiological transition was caused by changes in population growth and ageing, but it was accelerated by widespread improvements in SDI that also correlated strongly with the increasing importance of NCDs. Both total DALYs and age-standardised DALY rates due to most Group 1 causes significantly decreased by 2015, and although total burden climbed for the majority of NCDs, age-standardised DALY rates due to NCDs declined. Nonetheless, age-standardised DALY rates due to several high-burden NCDs (including osteoarthritis, drug use disorders, depression, diabetes, congenital birth defects, and skin, oral, and sense organ diseases) either increased or remained unchanged, leading to increases in their relative ranking in many geographies. From 2005 to 2015, HALE at birth increased by an average of 2·9 years (95% uncertainty interval 2·9–3·0) for men and 3·5 years (3·4–3·7) for women, while HALE at age 65 years improved by 0·85 years (0·78–0·92) and 1·2 years (1·1–1·3), respectively. Rising SDI was associated with consistently higher HALE and a somewhat smaller proportion of life spent with functional health loss; however, rising SDI was related to increases in total disability. Many countries and territories in central America and eastern sub-Saharan Africa had increasingly lower rates of disease burden than expected given their SDI. At the same time, a subset of geographies recorded a growing gap between observed and expected levels of DALYs, a trend driven mainly by rising burden due to war, interpersonal violence, and various NCDs.

Interpretation

Health is improving globally, but this means more populations are spending more time with functional health loss, an absolute expansion of morbidity. The proportion of life spent in ill health decreases somewhat with increasing SDI, a relative compression of morbidity, which supports continued efforts to elevate personal income, improve education, and limit fertility. Our analysis of DALYs and HALE and their relationship to SDI represents a robust framework on which to benchmark geography-specific health performance and SDG progress. Country-specific drivers of disease burden, particularly for causes with higher-than-expected DALYs, should inform financial and research investments, prevention efforts, health policies, and health system improvement initiatives for all countries along the development continuum.

Added: Oct 13, 2016
Article
Vlassov V. The Lancet. 2014. Vol. 348. No. 9947. P. 1005-1070.

Abstract: Background The Millennium Declaration in 2000 brought special global attention to HIV, tuberculosis and malaria through the formulation of Millennium Development Goal 6 (MDG 6). The Global Burden of Disease 2013 study provides a consistent and comprehensive approach to disease estimation 1990 to 2013, and an opportunity to assess if there has been accelerated progress since the Millennium Declaration. Methods To estimate incidence and mortality for HIV, we used the UNAIDS Spectrum model appropriately modified based on a systematic review of the literature on mortality with and without out antiretroviral therapy (ART). For concentrated epidemics, we calibrated Spectrum models to fit vital registration data corrected for misclassification of HIV deaths. In generalized epidemics, we minimized a loss function to select epidemic curves most consistent with prevalence data and demographic data on all-cause mortality. We analyzed counterfactual scenarios for HIV to assess years of life saved through prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) and anti-retroviral therapy (ART). For tuberculosis, we analyzed vital registration and verbal autopsy data to estimate mortality using cause of death ensemble modeling. We analyzed data on corrected case-notifications, expert opinions on the case-detection rate, prevalence surveys and estimated cause-specific mortality using Bayesian metaregression to generate consistent trends in all parameters. Malaria mortality and incidence were analyzed using an updated cause of death database, a systematic analysis of verbal autopsy validation studies for malaria and recent literature on incidence, drug resistance and coverage of insecticide treated bed nets. Findings Globally in 2013, there were 1.8 million new HIV infections (95% uncertainty interval 1.7 million to 2.1 million), 29.0 million prevalent HIV cases (27.9 to 31.4) and 1.3 million HIV deaths (1.2 to 1.5). At the peak of the epidemic in 2005, HIV caused 1.7 million deaths (1.6 to 1.9). Concentrated epidemics in Latin America and Eastern Europe are substantially smaller than previously estimated. Through interventions including PMTCT and ART, 19.3 million life years have been saved, 68.9% in the developing world. From 2000 to 2011, the ratio of development assistance for health for HIV to years of life saved through intervention was $4,647-$7,137 in the developing world. All-forms tuberculosis (including Individuals who are HIV-positive) incidence, prevalence and death numbers in 2013 were 6.6 million (6.4 to 6.7), 10.1 million (9.8 to 10.4) and 1.4 million (1.3 to 1.5), the same figures in Individuals who are HIV-negative were 6.1 million (6.0 to 6.3), 9.5 million (9.2 to 9.8) and 1.3 million

Added: May 30, 2014