Non-communicable diseases (NCD) now account for more than one-half of the global burden of disease. Cardiovascular diseases account for about one-half of NCD deaths, and the majority of cardiovascular disease deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. The GBD (Global Burden of Disease) study measures and benchmarks health loss from death or disability from more than 300 diseases in over 100 countries. According to GBD analyses, the rise of NCD is in part due to increased life expectancy due to reduced premature mortality from communicable, child, and maternal illnesses, but preventable risk factors also contribute and present targets for NCD control efforts. In addition to traditional NCD risk factors, like tobacco smoking, high blood pressure, and unhealthful diet, nontraditional risk factors like air pollution and unhealthful alcohol consumption also play a role. The GBD study continues to grow by gathering more data from country partners than ever before, and by measuring health at the national and subnational levels and in smaller time increments. The GBD study will continue to provide the data to set priorities for and measure progress in the global effort to control the rising burden of NCD.


Benziger CP, Roth GA, Moran AE. The Global Burden of Disease study and the preventable burden of NCD. Global Heart. 2016 Dec 8; 11(4):393-397. doi: 10.1016/j.gheart.2016.10.024.