GBD 2017 study highlights: non-fatal health outcomes relating to incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability

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The study estimated incidence and prevalence for 354 diseases and injuries and 3484 sequelae

The study estimated incidence and prevalence for 354 diseases and injuries and 3484 sequelae

Background

The Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2017 (GBD 2017) includes a comprehensive assessment of incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability (YLDs) for 354 causes in 195 countries and territories from 1990 to 2017. Previous GBD studies have shown how the decline of mortality rates from 1990 to 2016 has led to an increase in life expectancy, an ageing global population, and an expansion of the non-fatal burden of disease and injury. These studies have also shown how a substantial portion of the world’s population experiences non-fatal health loss with considerable heterogeneity among different causes, locations, ages, and sexes. Ongoing objectives of the GBD study include increasing the level of estimation detail, improving analytical strategies, and increasing the amount of high-quality data.

Methods

We estimated incidence and prevalence for 354 diseases and injuries and 3484 sequelae. We used an updated and extensive body of literature studies, survey data, surveillance data, inpatient admission records, outpatient visit records, and health insurance claims, and additionally used results from cause of death models to inform estimates using a total of 68 781 data sources. Newly available clinical data from India, Iran, Japan, Jordan, Nepal, China, Brazil, Norway, and Italy were incorporated, as well as updated claims data from the USA and new claims data from Taiwan (province of China) and Singapore. We used DisMod-MR 2.1, a Bayesian meta-regression tool, as the main method of estimation, ensuring consistency between rates of incidence, prevalence, remission, and cause of death for each condition. YLDs were estimated as the product of a prevalence estimate and a disability weight for health states of each mutually exclusive sequela, adjusted for comorbidity. We updated the Socio-demographic Index (SDI), a summary development indicator of income per capita, years of schooling, and total fertility rate. Additionally, we calculated differences between male and female YLDs to identify divergent trends across sexes. GBD 2017 complies with the Guidelines for Accurate and Transparent Health Estimates Reporting.

Findings

Globally, for females, the causes with the greatest age-standardised prevalence were oral disorders, headache disorders, and haemoglobinopathies and haemolytic anaemias in both 1990 and 2017. For males, the causes with the greatest age-standardised prevalence were oral disorders, headache disorders, and tuberculosis including latent tuberculosis infection in both 1990 and 2017. In terms of YLDs, low back pain, headache disorders, and dietary iron deficiency were the leading Level 3 causes of YLD counts in 1990, whereas low back pain, headache disorders, and depressive disorders were the leading causes in 2017 for both sexes combined. All-cause age-standardised YLD rates decreased by 3.9% (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 3.1–4.6) from 1990 to 2017; however, the all-age YLD rate increased by 7.2% (6.0–8.4) while the total sum of global YLDs increased from 562 million (421–723) to 853 million (642–1100). The increases for males and females were similar, with increases in all-age YLD rates of 7.9% (6.6–9.2) for males and 6.5% (5.4–7.7) for females. We found significant differences between males and females in terms of age-standardised prevalence estimates for multiple causes. The causes with the greatest relative differences between sexes in 2017 included substance use disorders (3018 cases [95% UI 2782–3252] per 100 000 in males vs 1400 [1279–1524] per 100 000 in females), transport injuries (3322 [3082–3583] vs 2336 [2154–2535]), and self-harm and interpersonal violence (3265 [2943–3630] vs 5643 [5057–6302]).

Interpretation

Global all-cause age-standardised YLD rates have improved only slightly over a period spanning nearly three decades. However, the magnitude of the non-fatal disease burden has expanded globally, with increasing numbers of people who have a wide spectrum of conditions. A subset of conditions has remained globally pervasive since 1990, whereas other conditions have displayed more dynamic trends, with different ages, sexes, and geographies across the globe experiencing varying burdens and trends of health loss. This study emphasises how global improvements in premature mortality for select conditions have led to older populations with complex and potentially expensive diseases, yet also highlights global achievements in certain domains of disease and injury.

Funding

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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The translation has been undertaken by Transperfect at its sole responsibility. No responsibility is assumed by Elsevier in relation to the translation or for any injury and/or damage to persons or property as a matter of products liability, negligence or otherwise, or from any use or operation of any methods, products, instructions, or ideas contained in the material herein. Because of rapid advances in the medical sciences, in particular, independent verification of diagnoses and drug dosages should be made.