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. Approximately 44% of the world’s population has their births and deaths recorded in a vital registration system, leaving millions whose cause of death is unknown.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The research will inform 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, 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.