The Global Burden of Disease: Generating Evidence, Guiding Policy

Published March 4, 2013

The Global Burden of Disease: Generating Evidence, Guiding Policy provides an overview of the reasons why the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) is an essential tool for evidence-based health policymaking and summarizes the main findings of the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2010 (GBD 2010). GBD 2010 is the most comprehensive study of its kind, producing comparative metrics for 291 different causes of premature death and disability across 187 countries, 20 age groups, and both sexes for three time periods: 1990, 2005, and 2010. The study also estimated 67 potentially preventable causes of ill health, or risk factors, such as smoking, high blood pressure, and household air pollution.

At the global level, GBD 2010 found that people’s health is changing rapidly. Many countries have made remarkable progress in preventing child deaths and extending the lives of their citizens. As a result, disease burden is increasingly defined by disability instead of premature mortality. Unlike most areas of the world, however, the Millennium Development Goals continue to dominate in sub-Saharan Africa.


Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. The Global Burden of Disease: Generating Evidence, Guiding Policy. Seattle, WA: IHME, 2013.

Supporting documents

Full report (7.25MB pdf)
(7.26 MB)
Report overview (199KB pdf)
(199.91 KB)
The GBD approach to tracking health progress and challenges (204KB pdf)
(204.96 KB)
Rapid Health Transitions: GBD 2010 results (4.27MB pdf)
(4.27 MB)
Using GBD to assess countries’ health progress (178KB pdf)
(178.53 KB)
Report conclusion (166KB pdf)
(166.39 KB)
Annex (211KB pdf)
(211.45 KB)