The State of US Health: Innovations, Insights, and Recommendations from the Global Burden of Disease Study presents key findings from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2010 (GBD 2010) for the US and documents trends in nearly 300 different diseases and injuries that are killing people prematurely and disabling them. The report sheds light on the substantial health threat posed by potentially modifiable risk factors such as poor diet, high body mass index, and lack of physical activity. It also provides an in-depth look at life expectancy, obesity, and physical activity in US counties.  

In the US, males and females are living longer than in the past, but their progress lagged behind that of their peers in other wealthy countries. As the US population grows older, the number of years Americans can expect to live with disability from causes such as depression and low back and neck pain has increased. The study reveals that thousands of lives could be saved by implementing policies that improve Americans’ diets and levels of physical activity and reduce smoking, high body mass index, and high blood pressure. 

At the local level, this report reveals the massive and growing disparities in life expectancy across US counties. Females in almost half of US counties made no significant progress in improving life expectancy between 1985 and 2010, compared to only 5% in males. It is also important to note that more Americans are getting recommended levels of exercise than in the past, which is likely to have positive effects on health. These increases in sufficient physical activity, however, have done little to mitigate rising obesity rates around the country.


Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. The State of US Health: Innovations, Insights, and Recommendations from the Global Burden of Disease Study. Seattle, WA: IHME, 2013.