Health transition in Iran toward chronic diseases based on results of Global Burden of Disease 2010

Published May 7, 2014, in Archives of Iranian Medicine (opens in a new window)


Drawing on the results of the country-level Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors 2010 Study, we attempted to investigate the drivers of change in the health care system in terms of mortality and morbidity due to diseases, injuries, and risk factors for the two decades from 1990 to 2010.


We decomposed trends in mortality, cause of death, years of life lost due to disability, disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), life expectancy, health-adjusted life expectancy, and risk factors into the contribution of total increase in population size, aging of the population, and changes in age-specific and sex-specific rates.


We observed a decrease in age-specific mortality rate for both sexes, with a higher rate for women. The ranking of causes of death and their corresponding number of years of life lost remained unchanged between 1990 and 2010. However, the percentages of change indicate patterns of reduction for most causes, such as ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke, hypertensive heart disease, stomach cancer, lower respiratory infections, and congenital anomalies. The number of years lost due to disability caused by diabetes and drug use disorders has significantly increased in the last two decades. Major causes of DALYs, such as injuries, interpersonal violence, and suicide, showed increasing trends, while rates of communicable diseases, neonatal disorders, and nutritional deficiencies have declined significantly. Life expectancy and health-adjusted life expectancy increased for both sexes by approximately 7 years, with the highest rate of increase pertaining to females over the age 30.


Time trend information presented in this paper can be used to evaluate problems and policies specific to medical conditions or risk factors. Despite recent improvements, implementing policies to reduce the number of deaths and years of life lost due to road traffic injury remains the highest priority for Iranian policymakers. Immediate action by Iranian researchers is required to match Iran’s decreasing mortality rate due to liver and stomach cancers to a rate comparable to the global level. Prevention and treatment plans for mental disorders, such as major depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, and particularly drug use disorders, should be considered in reforms of the health, education, and judiciary systems in Iran.

Read full article (opens in a new window)


Naghavi M, Shahraz S, Sepanlou S, Dicker D, Naghavi P, Pourmalek F, Mokdad A, Lozano R, Vos T, Asadi-Lari M, Sayyari A, Murray CJL, Forouzanfar MH. Health transition in Iran toward chronic diseases based on results of Global Burden of Disease 2010. Archives of Iranian Medicine. 2014 May; 17(05).


Scientific Publication

Global burden of peripheral artery disease and its risk factors, 1990–2019

Scientific Publication

Hepatitis B and C in Europe

Scientific Publication

Global, regional, and national burden of meningitis and its aetiologies, 1990–2019