Lancet Editorial, Opinion Piece Examine GBD Study’s Evolution, Challenges Ahead

The Lancet: Life, death, and disability in 2016
Editorial Board

“… The [Global Burden of Diseases (GBD)] is a herculean effort that annually tracks disease burden across countries, time, age, and sex. … Overall, the findings [in this year’s report] show that the world is becoming healthier, but progress is uneven. People are living longer, but with more disease. … One message from [the papers in the report] is that there are certain health issues that need specific attention in different countries. … We propose that WHO, the World Bank, and other technical and multilateral agencies join together annually to discuss the GBD findings, and how they should influence decision making. … To recognize [new climate-related] risks, the GBD will have to consider developing additional health-related metrics that relate to planetary health: such as concerning biodiversity, climate change, and ecosystem services. Therein lies a challenge for the next GBD” (9/16).

The Lancet: Measuring global health: motivation and evolution of the Global Burden of Disease Study
Christopher J.L. Murray, professor at the University of Washington and director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), and Alan D. Lopez, Melbourne Laureate professor and the Rowden-White chair of global health and burden of disease measurement at the University of Melbourne, director of the Global Burden of Disease Group in the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, and affiliate professor at IHME

“…During the past 25 years, the scope, magnitude, and uses of the GBD Study have increased substantially. The study has continued to evolve in an attempt to provide a robust scientific framework for measurement of health worldwide. Despite evolution, the scope to improve the GBD Study, primarily through increased scientific collaboration and data sharing, is considerable. Progress will come from many directions: sharing data that have been collected but not analyzed, strategic efforts to collect new data to fill critical gaps, improved methods for correction for bias in data processing, innovations in statistical modelling, and enhanced clarity on the meaning of different results in different locations. Importantly, the GBD Study has become an essential public good — a dynamic, collaborative scientific effort that routinely provides the essential information required to support decision makers everywhere to improve the health of populations” (9/16).

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