The global burden of disease

The global burden of disease

The results of an important study from 'The Global Burden of Disease 2010 Project' were recently published in the prestigious journal, The Lancet. This enormous international collaboration involved hundreds of researchers across 291 diseases in 21 countries.

The results of an important study from 'The Global Burden of Disease 2010 Project' were recently published in the prestigious journal, The Lancet. This enormous international collaboration involved hundreds of researchers across 291 diseases in 21 countries.

Data from Menzies' Tasmanian Older Adult Cohort (TASOAC) participant-based study contributed to the burden of disease estimates for the project.

The study shows that worldwide the contribution of different risk factors to global disease burden has changed substantially in recent years.  The burden of disease has shifted away from communicable to non-communicable disease, and from premature death to years lived with disability caused by chronic disease.

As stated in the summary of the study, "The rising burden from mental and behavioural disorders, musculoskeletal disorders, and diabetes will impose new challenges on global health systems."

The results suggest that changes are related to a global reduction in mortality among children younger than five years, and changes in cause of death are related to chronic diseases and associated changes in lifestyle risk factors. From 1990 to 2010, the greatest increase in disability was caused through an increase in heart disease, stroke, depression, and metabolic disease such as diabetes.

According to Menzies' researcher, Laura Laslett, a named author on the paper, the data will be invaluable in setting health priorities across both developed and developing countries.

"Countries need to move forward quickly with advocacy for the development and implementation of population health policies so that we can reduce the rising burden of chronic disease," Ms Laslett said.

Information Released by:

Fiona Horwood, Communications Manager

Phone: 6226 7751 Mobile: 0409 357 384

Email: Fiona.Horwood@menzies.utas.edu.au

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