Global Burden of Disease Study 2015 provides GPS for global health 2030

Elsevier, The Lancet, October 2016
K Srinath Reddy

The latest estimates and analyses from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015 (GBD 2015) provide a vital link between the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2016–30. The GBD 2015 investigators report global and national trends in various health metrics, from 1990 to 2015, and their association with levels of national development measured through a Socio-demographic Index (SDI), and profile epidemiological and health transitions across the world.

We can celebrate the 10-year rise in global life expectancy from birth, which occurred between 1980 and 2015, especially the upswing since 2005 in sub-Saharan Africa which was devastated by HIV/AIDS in earlier decades. There is, however, a grim pointer that regions affected by conflict are showing a decline in life expectancy—for example, in Syria male life expectancy dropped by 11·3 years in the past decade. It will be tragic if the life expectancy gains accruing from socioeconomic development and scientific advance are undermined by conflicts which feed sectarian violence and fuel social disruption. The rise in disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) lost due to war and interpersonal violence in some regions demands that political processes place a premium on peace, social stability, prevention of crime, and arms control.