“Increase in global life expectancy offset by war, obesity…” | IHME
New Global Burden of Disease study reveals that income, education, and birth rates – while critical – are not the only keys to healthy living in 195 countries
Improvements in sanitation, immunizations, indoor air quality, and nutrition have enabled children in poor countries to live longer over the past 25 years, according to a new scientific analysis of more than 300 diseases and injuries in 195 countries and territories.
However, such progress is threatened by increasing numbers of people suffering serious health threats related to obesity, high blood sugar, and alcohol and drug abuse.
These and other significant health findings are being published in a dedicated issue ofThe Lancet as part of the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD). The study draws on the work of more than 1,800 collaborators in nearly 130 countries and territories.
“Development drives, but does not determine health,” said Dr. Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington in Seattle, the coordinating center for the GBD enterprise. “We see countries that have improved far faster than can be explained by income, education, or fertility. And we also continue to see countries – including the United States – that are far less healthy than they should be given their resources.”
Globally, life expectancy increased from about 62 years to nearly 72 from 1980 to 2015, with several nations in sub-Saharan Africa rebounding from high death rates due to HIV/AIDS. Child deaths are falling fast, as are illnesses related to infectious diseases. But each country has its own specific challenges and improvements, from fewer suicides in France to lower death rates on Nigerian roadways to a reduction in asthma-related deaths in Indonesia.