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New data show countries around the world grappling with changing health challenges
Date:3/4/2013

ere masking serious problems in certain age groups," explained Dr. Alan Lopez, Head of the School of Population Health at the University of Queensland and one of the founders of GBD. "If you look at adults aged 20 to 54, increases in deaths from alcohol and drugs overshadowed the substantial reductions in deaths from greater cervical cancer screenings and efforts to reduce road traffic injuries."

The UK is now looking at ways to address these challenges.

GBD reveals surprising health trends around the world. The global population is increasing and getting older, but those longer lives are also filled with more sickness and disability. In the US, for example, the average life expectancy of women increased from 78.6 years in 1990 to 80.5 years in 2010, yet only 69.5 of those 80.5 years were lived in good health. Similar and even more dramatic gains can be seen in many developing countries. In Rwanda, life expectancy for men increased from 48.2 years in 1990 to 62 years in 2010, but Rwandan men spent nearly nine of those additional years in poor health.

"This is what we are seeing in the hospitals and clinics here in Zambia and throughout Africa," said Dr. Felix Masiye, Head of the Department of Economics at the University of Zambia and a leading health metrics researcher in East Africa. "We are extending our life spans, but we need to be thinking about how we make sure that we are living more of those years in full health."

Much of this increased life expectancy is due to the dramatic progress that has been made in preventing child deaths. In India in 1990, for example, more than 800,000 children ages 1 to 4 died. By 2010, that number was down to 300,000. Yet in sub-Saharan Africa, where significant health strides have been made in the past two decades, diseases like malaria, lower respiratory infections, and diarrheal disease still top the list of child killers in 44 countries.

In many countries, children who survive past the age of 5 are plag
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Contact: Rhonda Stewart
stewartr@uw.edu
206-861-6684
Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation
Source:Eurekalert

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