Air pollution adversely affects health in much of the world. Outdoor air pollution has several components, including various gases as well as tiny particles of solids or liquids that are suspended in the air, often called ambient particulate matter. Ambient particulate matter pollution is a major cause of premature death and ill health worldwide.
Alcohol use is a well-known risk factor for certain conditions, such as cirrhosis of the liver, fetal alcohol syndrome, and injuries related to drunk driving. Alcohol consumption can also contribute to chronic illnesses like heart disease, stroke, and some cancers. Interpersonal violence, self-harm (suicide), and unintentional injuries can also be fueled by alcohol.
Knowing the patterns and trends in causes of death by age and sex in a population is critical to understanding how to target interventions to maximize population health. Less than half of the world’s population has their births and deaths recorded in a vital registration system, leaving millions whose cause of death is unknown.
Many countries have made great strides in reducing child mortality. The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2013 update found that child death rates dropped by 48% globally between 1990 and 2013. Yet, every year millions of children still die before their fifth birthday. View these trends using our Life Expectancy & Probability of Death data visualization.
It is well known that what we eat influences our health, but how much disease burden can be attributed to diet, and what components of our diet are most harmful? The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study provides some of the answers to these questions by tracking risk factors as well as diseases and injuries. GBD estimates now include over 70 different risk factors, including dietary risks.
Education is a route to a better future – not just by increasing earning potential, but also by improving health. Women of reproductive age who have higher levels of education tend to be healthier and tend to have healthier children. Each additional year of education is associated with a 7% to 9% reduction in mortality for children under 5. Women of reproductive age with more education also tend to have smaller families. And children who receive education are more likely to grow into healthy and productive adults.
Proven interventions can improve population health only if they reach those who need them. IHME's Impact Evaluation research develops new and improved methods to evaluate the impact of programs or interventions based on empirical evidence, and conducts impact evaluations to determine the effect a health program had on a target population.
IHME examines how public resources for domestic health spending relate to incoming development assistance from external sources, tracks national aggregates of out-of-pocket expenditures on health, and researches the composition of resources that are relevant to policymaking. We examine whether the distribution of global health resources reflects current global health priorities by classifying resources according to their disease focus, the health system function that they attempt to strengthen, the type of input, and the target population.
In most of the world, disease burden is shifting toward non-communicable diseases and injuries and is less driven by infectious illnesses. Many countries have seen significant declines in HIV/AIDS, but success has varied across regions and countries. Although the epidemic peaked in magnitude in 2005, HIV/AIDS is still among the top 10 causes of death globally, and nearly 30 million people are living with HIV worldwide.
Maternal health encompasses the health of women during and just after pregnancy, a time when women are at risk of complications and even death. Global Burden of Disease (GBD) research has found that maternal deaths have decreased significantly since 1990, although 293,000 women still died in 2013 from pregnancy-related causes.
In 2000, world leaders agreed to the United Nations Millennium Declaration, which aimed to reduce poverty, hunger, and disease. The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) further specified targets to be met by 2015.
Without high-quality, timely data, selecting the most effective interventions and policy options to address a population’s health needs can be impossible. Primary data collection (PDC) helps to fill critical information gaps for decision-making and serves to strengthen existing health information systems.
The research informs policymakers and researchers on the prevalence of risk factors in a population. With this information, targeted interventions can be created to address a population’s most pressing health issues.
Among risk factors, tobacco use is one of the most clearly damaging to health. Smoking contributes to a variety of non-communicable diseases, including cancer, heart disease, stroke, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes. The greatest health risks occur in countries where smoking is pervasive and where smokers consume a large quantity of cigarettes.
Social determinants of health are the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age, and they play a key role in determining a population's health.
In the United States, many aspects of health system performance are the responsibility of local governments, including county governments. In order to be responsive to the health needs of their populations, county-level decision-makers need accurate information about local health trends, health system performance, and whether their local health systems are delivering necessary health interventions to achieve good health outcomes in their counties.