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Four risk factors lead to half of global deaths

Friday November 9th, 2018

Half of all global deaths last year were caused by just four risk factors: high blood pressure, smoking, high blood glucose, and high body mass index (BMI), according to the new Global Burden of Disease study (GBD).

The GBD, the annual, comprehensive, peer-reviewed assessment of global trends in health, provides global and national estimates for about 280 causes of death, 359 diseases and injuries, and 84 risk factors in 195 countries and territories worldwide.

The study, which is published as seven new papers in The Lancet, was published last night (8 November 2018) and estimates that improvements in mortality rates for adults were less pronounced overall and stagnated or got worse in some countries in 2017.

It also warns that no countries are on target to meet the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals to improve health by 2030.

For the first time, the study includes a global analysis of health worker density. In 2006, the World Health Organisation estimated that there should be a minimum of 23 physicians, nurses, or midwives per 10,000 population.

Last year, the estimates suggest that only 41 out of 195 countries had more than 30 physicians per 10,000 population, while only 28 countries had more than 100 nurses or midwives.

Ninety-two had fewer than 10 physicians per 10,000 people, while 90 had fewer than 30 nurses or midwives for every 10,000 people.

Total fertility rates, which represent the average number of children a woman delivers over her lifetime, have declined since 1950, says the report.

A total of 91 countries, including Singapore, Spain, Portugal, Norway, South Korea, and Cyprus, had rates lower than two, while 104 nations saw population increases due to higher fertility rates.

The seven papers focus on: mortality; population and fertility; causes of death; years lived with disease; disability-adjusted life years; risk factors; and sustainable development goals.

Global, regional, and national age-sex-specific mortality and life expectancy, 1950–2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. The Lancet 8 November 2018.

Tags: Asia | Diet & Food | Europe | Heart Health | World Health

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