Fewer people dying but more live with disability
The Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2010 (GBD 2010), a collaborative project led by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington was finalized and launched on December 14th, 2012 in London.
GBD 2010 is a comprehensive effort to produce complete and comparable estimates of the burden of diseases, injuries, and risk factors for the years 1990, 2005, and 2010 for 21 regions and most of the countries of the World. One of the most important findings from this study is:
"Fewer people dying but more live with disability. Mental health disorders, pain, and injuries hindering people’s health. Obesity and high blood sugar replacing lack of food as leading risks."
This means that people, in general, are living longer. But there is a bad news, most of them seem to be fatter, still smoking too much, meaning that they are under high risk to get sick and suffering from disabilities.
Using three key indicators produced by GBD 2010 study: 1) Life Expectancy; 2) Healthy-Adjusted Life Expectancy; and 3) Healthy Years Lost, defined as the difference between health-adjusted life expectancy (HALE) and life expectancy, the following data visualization helps to illustrate the progress on life expectancy in most of the countries and -at the same time shows how much has increased the number of healthy years lost from 1990 to 2010. This is a clear evidence that people are living longer but with more disabilities.
The visualization also shows how behind are countries from Africa regarding life expectancy and health-adjusted life expectancy.
New public health strategies and policies should be identified and imlpemented to overcome disabilities as a new health issue affecting both the population health and health service demands and costs.
Your comments and recommendations about this theme are welcome.
P.S. The data visualization from this article was picked as Tableau Visualization of the Day on December 20th, 2012.