Policy Forum

Evidence-Based Health Policy--Lessons from the Global Burden of Disease Study

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Science  01 Nov 1996:
Vol. 274, Issue 5288, pp. 740-743
DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5288.740


The Global Burden of Disease Study, a comprehensive regional and global assessment of mortality and disability from 107 diseases and injuries and 10 risk factors, is an example of an evidence-based input to public health policy debate. The study, which includes projections of the burden through the year 2020, uses the disability-adjusted life year as a composite measure of years of life lost due to premature mortality and years lived with disability. Future patterns of death and disability are likely to change dramatically because of aging of the world's population, the epidemic of tobacco-related disease, the human immunodeficiency virus epidemic, and the likely reduction in death rates from communicable diseases in children.

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