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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. 2015. Vol. 386. No. 10010. P. 2287-2323.

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
Article
Vlassov V. The Lancet. 2015. Vol. 386. No. 9995. P. 743-800.

Background Up-to-date evidence about levels and trends in disease and injury incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability (YLDs) is an essential input into global, regional, and national health policies. In the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013 (GBD 2013), we estimated these quantities for acute and chronic diseases and injuries for 188 countries between 1990 and 2013. Methods Estimates were calculated for disease and injury incidence, prevalence, and YLDs using GBD 2010 methods with some important refinements. Results for incidence of acute disorders and prevalence of chronic disorders are new additions to the analysis. Key improvements include expansion to the cause and sequelae list, updated systematic reviews, use of detailed injury codes, improvements to the Bayesian meta-regression method (DisMod-MR), and use of severity splits for various causes. An index of data representativeness, showing data availability, was calculated for each cause and impairment during three periods globally and at the country level for 2013. In total, 35 620 distinct sources of data were used and documented to calculated estimates for 301 diseases and injuries and 2337 sequelae. The comorbidity simulation provides estimates for the number of sequelae, concurrently, by individuals by country, year, age, and sex. Disability weights were updated with the addition of new population-based survey data from four countries. Findings Disease and injury were highly prevalent; only a small fraction of individuals had no sequelae. Comorbidity rose substantially with age and in absolute terms from 1990 to 2013. Incidence of acute sequelae were predominantly infectious diseases and short-term injuries, with over 2 billion cases of upper respiratory infections and diarrhoeal disease episodes in 2013, with the notable exception of tooth pain due to permanent caries with more than 200 million incident cases in 2013. Conversely, leading chronic sequelae were largely attributable to non-communicable diseases, with prevalence estimates for asymptomatic permanent caries and tension-type headache of 2∙4 billion and 1∙6 billion, respectively. The distribution of the number of sequelae in populations varied widely across regions, with an expected relation between age and disease prevalence. YLDs for both sexes increased from 537∙6 million in 1990 to 764∙8 million in 2013 due to population growth and ageing, whereas the age-standardised rate decreased little from 114∙87 per 1000 people to 110∙31 per 1000 people between 1990 and 2013. Leading causes of YLDs included low back pain and major depressive disorder among the top ten causes of YLDs in every country. YLD rates per person, by major cause groups, indicated the main drivers of increases were due to musculoskeletal, mental, and substance use disorders, neurological disorders, and chronic respiratory diseases; however HIV/AIDS was a notable driver of increasing YLDs in sub-Saharan Africa. Also, the proportion of disability-adjusted life years due to YLDs increased globally from 21·1% in 1990 to 31·2% in 2013. Interpretation Ageing of the world’s population is leading to a substantial increase in the numbers of individuals with sequelae of diseases and injuries. Rates of YLDs are declining much more slowly than mortality rates. The non-fatal dimensions of disease and injury will require more and more attention from health systems. The transition to non- fatal outcomes as the dominant source of burden of disease is occurring rapidly outside of sub-Saharan Africa. Our results can guide future health initiatives through examination of epidemiological trends and a better understanding

of variation across countries

Added: Jun 7, 2015
Article
Vlassov V. The Lancet. 2016. Vol. 388. No. 10053. P. 1545-1602.
Background

Non-fatal outcomes of disease and injury increasingly detract from the ability of the world's population to live in full health, a trend largely attributable to an epidemiological transition in many countries from causes affecting children, to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) more common in adults. For the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2015 (GBD 2015), we estimated the incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for diseases and injuries at the global, regional, and national scale over the period of 1990 to 2015.

Methods

We estimated incidence and prevalence by age, sex, cause, year, and geography with a wide range of updated and standardised analytical procedures. Improvements from GBD 2013 included the addition of new data sources, updates to literature reviews for 85 causes, and the identification and inclusion of additional studies published up to November, 2015, to expand the database used for estimation of non-fatal outcomes to 60 900 unique data sources. Prevalence and incidence by cause and sequelae were determined with DisMod-MR 2.1, an improved version of the DisMod-MR Bayesian meta-regression tool first developed for GBD 2010 and GBD 2013. For some causes, we used alternative modelling strategies where the complexity of the disease was not suited to DisMod-MR 2.1 or where incidence and prevalence needed to be determined from other data. For GBD 2015 we created a summary indicator that combines measures of income per capita, educational attainment, and fertility (the Socio-demographic Index [SDI]) and used it to compare observed patterns of health loss to the expected pattern for countries or locations with similar SDI scores.

Findings

We generated 9·3 billion estimates from the various combinations of prevalence, incidence, and YLDs for causes, sequelae, and impairments by age, sex, geography, and year. In 2015, two causes had acute incidences in excess of 1 billion: upper respiratory infections (17·2 billion, 95% uncertainty interval [UI] 15·4–19·2 billion) and diarrhoeal diseases (2·39 billion, 2·30–2·50 billion). Eight causes of chronic disease and injury each affected more than 10% of the world's population in 2015: permanent caries, tension-type headache, iron-deficiency anaemia, age-related and other hearing loss, migraine, genital herpes, refraction and accommodation disorders, and ascariasis. The impairment that affected the greatest number of people in 2015 was anaemia, with 2·36 billion (2·35–2·37 billion) individuals affected. The second and third leading impairments by number of individuals affected were hearing loss and vision loss, respectively. Between 2005 and 2015, there was little change in the leading causes of years lived with disability (YLDs) on a global basis. NCDs accounted for 18 of the leading 20 causes of age-standardised YLDs on a global scale. Where rates were decreasing, the rate of decrease for YLDs was slower than that of years of life lost (YLLs) for nearly every cause included in our analysis. For low SDI geographies, Group 1 causes typically accounted for 20–30% of total disability, largely attributable to nutritional deficiencies, malaria, neglected tropical diseases, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis. Lower back and neck pain was the leading global cause of disability in 2015 in most countries. The leading cause was sense organ disorders in 22 countries in Asia and Africa and one in central Latin America; diabetes in four countries in Oceania; HIV/AIDS in three southern sub-Saharan African countries; collective violence and legal intervention in two north African and Middle Eastern countries; iron-deficiency anaemia in Somalia and Venezuela; depression in Uganda; onchoceriasis in Liberia; and other neglected tropical diseases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Interpretation

Ageing of the world's population is increasing the number of people living with sequelae of diseases and injuries. Shifts in the epidemiological profile driven by socioeconomic change also contribute to the continued increase in years lived with disability (YLDs) as well as the rate of increase in YLDs. Despite limitations imposed by gaps in data availability and the variable quality of the data available, the standardised and comprehensive approach of the GBD study provides opportunities to examine broad trends, compare those trends between countries or subnational geographies, benchmark against locations at similar stages of development, and gauge the strength or weakness of the estimates available.

Added: Oct 13, 2016
Article
Vlassov V. The Lancet. 2017. Vol. 390. No. 10100. P. 1211-1259.

Background

As mortality rates decline, life expectancy increases, and populations age, non-fatal outcomes of diseases and injuries are becoming a larger component of the global burden of disease. The Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2016 (GBD 2016) provides a comprehensive assessment of prevalence, incidence, and years lived with disability (YLDs) for 328 causes in 195 countries and territories from 1990 to 2016.

Methods

We estimated prevalence and incidence for 328 diseases and injuries and 2982 sequelae, their non-fatal consequences. We used DisMod-MR 2.1, a Bayesian meta-regression tool, as the main method of estimation, ensuring consistency between incidence, prevalence, remission, and cause of death rates for each condition. For some causes, we used alternative modelling strategies if incidence or prevalence needed to be derived from other data. YLDs were estimated as the product of prevalence and a disability weight for all mutually exclusive sequelae, corrected for comorbidity and aggregated to cause level. We updated the Socio-demographic Index (SDI), a summary indicator of income per capita, years of schooling, and total fertility rate. GBD 2016 complies with the Guidelines for Accurate and Transparent Health Estimates Reporting (GATHER).

Findings

Globally, low back pain, migraine, age-related and other hearing loss, iron-deficiency anaemia, and major depressive disorder were the five leading causes of YLDs in 2016, contributing 57·6 million (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 40·8–75·9 million [7·2%, 6·0–8·3]), 45·1 million (29·0–62·8 million [5·6%, 4·0–7·2]), 36·3 million (25·3–50·9 million [4·5%, 3·8–5·3]), 34·7 million (23·0–49·6 million [4·3%, 3·5–5·2]), and 34·1 million (23·5–46·0 million [4·2%, 3·2–5·3]) of total YLDs, respectively. Age-standardised rates of YLDs for all causes combined decreased between 1990 and 2016 by 2·7% (95% UI 2·3–3·1). Despite mostly stagnant age-standardised rates, the absolute number of YLDs from non-communicable diseases has been growing rapidly across all SDI quintiles, partly because of population growth, but also the ageing of populations. The largest absolute increases in total numbers of YLDs globally were between the ages of 40 and 69 years. Age-standardised YLD rates for all conditions combined were 10·4% (95% UI 9·0–11·8) higher in women than in men. Iron-deficiency anaemia, migraine, Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, major depressive disorder, anxiety, and all musculoskeletal disorders apart from gout were the main conditions contributing to higher YLD rates in women. Men had higher age-standardised rates of substance use disorders, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancers, and all injuries apart from sexual violence. Globally, we noted much less geographical variation in disability than has been documented for premature mortality. In 2016, there was a less than two times difference in age-standardised YLD rates for all causes between the location with the lowest rate (China, 9201 YLDs per 100 000, 95% UI 6862–11943) and highest rate (Yemen, 14 774 YLDs per 100 000, 11 018–19 228).

Interpretation

The decrease in death rates since 1990 for most causes has not been matched by a similar decline in age-standardised YLD rates. For many large causes, YLD rates have either been stagnant or have increased for some causes, such as diabetes. As populations are ageing, and the prevalence of disabling disease generally increases steeply with age, health systems will face increasing demand for services that are generally costlier than the interventions that have led to declines in mortality in childhood or for the major causes of mortality in adults. Up-to-date information about the trends of disease and how this varies between countries is essential to plan for an adequate health-system response.

 

Added: Sep 15, 2017
Article
Vlassov V. The Lancet. 2014. Vol. 384. No. 9947. P. 980-1004.

Background The fifth Millennium Development Goal (MDG 5) established the goal of a 75% reduction in the maternal mortality ratio (MMR; number of maternal deaths per 100 000 livebirths) between 1990 and 2015. We aimed to measure levels and track trends in maternal mortality, the key causes contributing to maternal death, and timing of maternal death with respect to delivery. Methods We used robust statistical methods including the Cause of Death Ensemble model (CODEm) to analyse a database of data for 7065 site-years and estimate the number of maternal deaths from all causes in 188 countries between 1990 and 2013. We estimated the number of pregnancy-related deaths caused by HIV on the basis of a systematic review of the relative risk of dying during pregnancy for HIV-positive women compared with HIV-negative women. We also estimated the fraction of these deaths aggravated by pregnancy on the basis of a systematic review. To estimate the numbers of maternal deaths due to nine different causes, we identified 61 sources from a systematic review and 943 site-years of vital registration data. We also did a systematic review of reports about the timing of maternal death, identifying 142 sources to use in our analysis. We developed estimates for each country for 1990—2013 using Bayesian meta-regression. We estimated 95% uncertainty intervals (UIs) for all values. Findings 292 982 (95% UI 261 017—327 792) maternal deaths occurred in 2013, compared with 376 034 (343 483—407 574) in 1990. The global annual rate of change in the MMR was −0·3% (—1·1 to 0·6) from 1990 to 2003, and −2·7% (—3·9 to −1·5) from 2003 to 2013, with evidence of continued acceleration. MMRs reduced consistently in south, east, and southeast Asia between 1990 and 2013, but maternal deaths increased in much of sub-Saharan Africa during the 1990s. 2070 (1290—2866) maternal deaths were related to HIV in 2013, 0·4% (0·2—0·6) of the global total. MMR was highest in the oldest age groups in both 1990 and 2013. In 2013, most deaths occurred intrapartum or postpartum. Causes varied by region and between 1990 and 2013. We recorded substantial variation in the MMR by country in 2013, from 956·8 (685·1—1262·8) in South Sudan to 2·4 (1·6—3·6) in Iceland. Interpretation Global rates of change suggest that only 16 countries will achieve the MDG 5 target by 2015. Accelerated reductions since the Millennium Declaration in 2000 coincide with increased development assistance for maternal, newborn, and child health. Setting of targets and associated interventions for after 2015 will need careful consideration of regions that are making slow progress, such as west and central Africa.

Added: May 2, 2014
Article
Vlassov V. The Lancet. 2016. Vol. 388. No. 1053. P. 1775-1812.

coBverage of specific reproductive health care services as well as assessment of observed versus expected maternal mortality as a function of Socio-Demographic Index (SDI), a summary indicator derived from measures of income per capita, educational attainment, and fertility.

Findings

Only ten countries achieved MDG 5, but 122 of 195 countries have already met SDG 3.1. Geographic disparities widened and, in 2015, there were still 24 countries with MMR greater than 400. The proportion of all maternal deaths occurring in the bottom two SDI quintiles, where haemorrhage is the dominant cause of maternal death, increased from roughly 68% in 1990 to more than 80% in 2015. The middle SDI quintile improved the most from 1990 to 2015, but also has the most complicated etiologic profile. Maternal mortality in the highest SDI quintile is mostly due to other direct maternal disorders, indirect maternal disorders, and abortion, ectopic pregnancy, and miscarriage. Historical patterns suggest achievement of SDG 3.1 will require 91% coverage of one antenatal care (ANC) visit, 78% of four ANC visits, 81% of in-facility delivery (IFD), and 87% of skilled birth attendance (SBA).

Interpretation

Several challenges to improving reproductive health lie ahead in the SDG era. Countries should: a) establish or renew systems for collection and timely dissemination of health data; b) expand coverage and improve quality of family planning services, including access to contraception and safe abortion to address high adolescent fertility; c) invest in improving health system capacity, including coverage of routine reproductive health care and of more advanced obstetric care—including emergency obstetric care (EmOC); d) Adapt health systems and data collection systems to monitor and reverse the increase in indirect, other direct, and late maternal deaths, especially in high SDI locations; e) Examine their own performance with respect to their SDI level, using that information to formulate strategies for improving performance and ensuring optimum reproductive health of their population.

Added: Jul 20, 2016
Article
Vlassov V. The Lancet. 2016. Vol. 388. No. 10053. P. 1459-1544.

Background

Improving survival and extending the longevity of life for all populations requires timely, robust evidence on local mortality levels and trends. The Global Burden of Disease 2015 Study (GBD 2015) provides a comprehensive assessment of all-cause and cause-specific mortality for 249 causes in 195 countries and territories from 1980 to 2015. These results informed an in-depth investigation of observed and expected mortality patterns based on sociodemographic measures.

Methods

We estimated all-cause mortality by age, sex, geography, and year using an improved analytical approach originally developed for GBD 2013 and GBD 2010. Improvements included refinements to the estimation of child and adult mortality and corresponding uncertainty, parameter selection for under-5 mortality synthesis by spatiotemporal Gaussian process regression, and sibling history data processing. We also expanded the database of vital registration, survey, and census data to 14 294 geography–year datapoints. For GBD 2015, eight causes, including Ebola virus disease, were added to the previous GBD cause list for mortality. We used six modelling approaches to assess cause-specific mortality, with the Cause of Death Ensemble Model (CODEm) generating estimates for most causes. We used a series of novel analyses to systematically quantify the drivers of trends in mortality across geographies. First, we assessed observed and expected levels and trends of cause-specific mortality as they relate to the Socio-demographic Index (SDI), a summary indicator derived from measures of income per capita, educational attainment, and fertility. Second, we examined factors affecting total mortality patterns through a series of counterfactual scenarios, testing the magnitude by which population growth, population age structures, and epidemiological changes contributed to shifts in mortality. Finally, we attributed changes in life expectancy to changes in cause of death. We documented each step of the GBD 2015 estimation processes, as well as data sources, in accordance with Guidelines for Accurate and Transparent Health Estimates Reporting (GATHER).

Findings

Globally, life expectancy from birth increased from 61·7 years (95% uncertainty interval 61·4–61·9) in 1980 to 71·8 years (71·5–72·2) in 2015. Several countries in sub-Saharan Africa had very large gains in life expectancy from 2005 to 2015, rebounding from an era of exceedingly high loss of life due to HIV/AIDS. At the same time, many geographies saw life expectancy stagnate or decline, particularly for men and in countries with rising mortality from war or interpersonal violence. From 2005 to 2015, male life expectancy in Syria dropped by 11·3 years (3·7–17·4), to 62·6 years (56·5–70·2). Total deaths increased by 4·1% (2·6–5·6) from 2005 to 2015, rising to 55·8 million (54·9 million to 56·6 million) in 2015, but age-standardised death rates fell by 17·0% (15·8–18·1) during this time, underscoring changes in population growth and shifts in global age structures. The result was similar for non-communicable diseases (NCDs), with total deaths from these causes increasing by 14·1% (12·6–16·0) to 39·8 million (39·2 million to 40·5 million) in 2015, whereas age-standardised rates decreased by 13·1% (11·9–14·3). Globally, this mortality pattern emerged for several NCDs, including several types of cancer, ischaemic heart disease, cirrhosis, and Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. By contrast, both total deaths and age-standardised death rates due to communicable, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional conditions significantly declined from 2005 to 2015, gains largely attributable to decreases in mortality rates due to HIV/AIDS (42·1%, 39·1–44·6), malaria (43·1%, 34·7–51·8), neonatal preterm birth complications (29·8%, 24·8–34·9), and maternal disorders (29·1%, 19·3–37·1). Progress was slower for several causes, such as lower respiratory infections and nutritional deficiencies, whereas deaths increased for others, including dengue and drug use disorders. Age-standardised death rates due to injuries significantly declined from 2005 to 2015, yet interpersonal violence and war claimed increasingly more lives in some regions, particularly in the Middle East. In 2015, rotaviral enteritis (rotavirus) was the leading cause of under-5 deaths due to diarrhoea (146 000 deaths, 118 000–183 000) and pneumococcal pneumonia was the leading cause of under-5 deaths due to lower respiratory infections (393 000 deaths, 228 000–532 000), although pathogen-specific mortality varied by region. Globally, the effects of population growth, ageing, and changes in age-standardised death rates substantially differed by cause. Our analyses on the expected associations between cause-specific mortality and SDI show the regular shifts in cause of death composition and population age structure with rising SDI. Country patterns of premature mortality (measured as years of life lost [YLLs]) and how they differ from the level expected on the basis of SDI alone revealed distinct but highly heterogeneous patterns by region and country or territory. Ischaemic heart disease, stroke, and diabetes were among the leading causes of YLLs in most regions, but in many cases, intraregional results sharply diverged for ratios of observed and expected YLLs based on SDI. Communicable, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional diseases caused the most YLLs throughout sub-Saharan Africa, with observed YLLs far exceeding expected YLLs for countries in which malaria or HIV/AIDS remained the leading causes of early death.

Interpretation

At the global scale, age-specific mortality has steadily improved over the past 35 years; this pattern of general progress continued in the past decade. Progress has been faster in most countries than expected on the basis of development measured by the SDI. Against this background of progress, some countries have seen falls in life expectancy, and age-standardised death rates for some causes are increasing. Despite progress in reducing age-standardised death rates, population growth and ageing mean that the number of deaths from most non-communicable causes are increasing in most countries, putting increased demands on health systems.

Added: Oct 13, 2016