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People are living longer but are not in best health, global study finds

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e8511 (Published 14 December 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e8511
  1. Anne Gulland
  1. 1London

The biggest ever study of people’s health worldwide has found that the number of deaths of children under the age of 5 years fell by 60% between 1970 and 2010, but that of adults aged 15-49 rose by 44%, largely because of increases in violence and HIV and AIDS.

The Global Burden of Disease Study 2010, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and led by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, involved 486 authors from 302 institutions in 50 countries and delivered 650 million results.

Publishing in an entire issue of the Lancet (http://bit.ly/XkYEvr), researchers looked at 300 diseases, injuries, and risk factors and found that there were just 50 causes for 78% of the global disease burden.1

They found that life expectancy rose …

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