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The Global Burden of Disease: Measuring the health of populations 

The Global Burden of Disease: Measuring the health of populations
The Global Burden of Disease: Measuring the health of populations

Theo Vos

, Alan Lopez

, and Christopher Murray

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date: 02 March 2021

To make the best decisions to improve health, policymakers need reliable, up-to-date information on the major challenges facing their country. The Global Burden of Disease study facilitates this by providing comprehensive and scientifically rigorous estimates of the causes of death and illness across the globe. It examines a total of 79 risk factors and the amount of health loss attributable to each or combinations of them. Analysis over time reveals a shift from disease burden dominated by communicable, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional causes to a burden increasingly made up of non-communicable diseases and injuries. By making comparisons between countries or subnational units like states or counties, the Global Burden of Disease can highlight areas of particular success or challenge, providing opportunities to examine what is working, or what is not.

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