Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.
  • Erratum: Global, regional, and national levels of maternal mortality, 1990–2015: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015 (The Lancet (2016) 388(10053) (1775–1812)(S0140673616314702)(10.1016/S0140-6736(16)31470-2))

    18 January 2019

    © 2017 Elsevier Ltd GBD 2015 Maternal Mortality Collaborators. Global, regional, and national levels of maternal mortality, 1990–2015: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015. Lancet 2016; 388: 1775–812—In this Article, an extra affiliation has been added for Simon I Hay. The affiliation for Monica Cortinovis has been edited. The funding statement for Simon I Hay has been added. These corrections have been made to the online version as of Jan 5, 2017.

  • Adiposity in middle and old age and risk of death from dementia: 40-year follow-up of 19,000 men in the Whitehall study.

    14 March 2019

    Aims and objectives: to examine the hypothesis that obesity is protective for dementia, we compared the associations of death from dementia with body weight and body mass index (BMI) in both middle and old age. Design: height and weight were measured in a prospective study of 19,019 middle-aged men in the Whitehall study in 1967-70 and in 6,158 surviving participants at resurvey in 1997. Cox regression was used to examine the associations of death from dementia over a 40-year period with weight or BMI measured by health professionals in middle and old age adjusting for age, smoking habits, employment grade and marital status. Setting: central government employees in London, UK. Main outcomes measure: death due to dementia in 320 participants. Results: body weight measured in middle age was weakly inversely associated with death from dementia (hazard ratio 0.98 [95%CI: 0.97-0.99] per kg), but neither height nor BMI were related to risk of dementia. In contrast, body weight in old age was more strongly inversely related to deaths from dementia (0.96; [0.95-0.98] per kg) as was BMI (0.92 [0.86-0.97] per kg/m2). Weight loss over the 30 years between baseline and resurvey was associated with a higher risk of death from dementia, with an adjusted HR per kg/30 years of 1.04 [95%CI: 1.02-1.08] and the association with loss of BMI was even stronger (adjusted HR of 1.10 [1.03-1.19]) per kg/m2 decrease. Conclusions: the stronger inverse associations of deaths from dementia with BMI in old age, compared with middle age, together with strong positive associations of loss of BMI or body weight between middle and old age casts doubt on previous suggestions that obesity protects against death from dementia.

  • Cost-effectiveness analysis of a randomized clinical trial of early versus deferred endovenous ablation of superficial venous reflux in patients with venous ulceration.

    14 March 2019

    BACKGROUND: Treatment of superficial venous reflux in addition to compression therapy accelerates venous leg ulcer healing and reduces ulcer recurrence. The aim of this study was to evaluate the costs and cost-effectiveness of early versus delayed endovenous treatment of patients with venous leg ulcers. METHODS: This was a within-trial cost-utility analysis with a 1-year time horizon using data from the EVRA (Early Venous Reflux Ablation) trial. The study compared early versus deferred endovenous ablation for superficial venous truncal reflux in patients with a venous leg ulcer. The outcome measure was the cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) over 1 year. Sensitivity analyses were conducted with alternative methods of handling missing data, alternative preference weights for health-related quality of life, and per protocol. RESULTS: After early intervention, the mean(s.e.m.) cost was higher (difference in cost per patient £163(318) (€184(358))) and early intervention was associated with more QALYs at 1 year (mean(s.e.m.) difference 0·041(0·017)). The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) was £3976 (€4482) per QALY. There was an 89 per cent probability that early venous intervention is cost-effective at a threshold of £20 000 (€22 546)/QALY. Sensitivity analyses produced similar results, confirming that early treatment of superficial reflux is highly likely to be cost-effective. CONCLUSION: Early treatment of superficial reflux is highly likely to be cost-effective in patients with venous leg ulcers over 1 year. Registration number: ISRCTN02335796 (http://www.isrctn.com).

  • A review of lifestyle, metabolic risk factors and blood-based biomarkers for early diagnosis of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.

    11 January 2019

    We aimed to review the epidemiologic literature examining lifestyle, metabolic risk factors, and blood-based biomarkers including multi-omics (genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics) and to discuss how these predictive markers can inform early diagnosis of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). A search of the PubMed database was conducted in June 2018 to review epidemiologic studies of (1) lifestyle and metabolic risk factors for PDAC, genome-wide association studies (GWAS), and risk prediction models incorporating these factors and (2) blood-based biomarkers for PDAC (conventional diagnostic markers, metabolomics, and proteomics). Prospective cohort studies have reported at least twenty possible risk factors for PDAC, including smoking, heavy alcohol drinking, adiposity, diabetes, and pancreatitis, but the relative risks (RR) and population attributable fractions of individual risk factors are small (mostly <10%). High-throughput technologies have continued to yield promising genetic, metabolic, and protein biomarkers in addition to conventional biomarkers such as carbohydrate antigen 19-9 (CA 19-9). Nonetheless, most studies have utilised a hospital-based case-control design, and the diagnostic accuracy is low in studies that collected pre-diagnostic samples. Risk prediction models incorporating lifestyle and metabolic factors as well as other clinical parameters have shown good discrimination and calibration. Combination of traditional risk factors, genomics and blood-based biomarkers can help identify high-risk populations and inform clinical decisions. Multi-omics investigations can provide valuable insights into disease aetiology, but prospective cohort studies that collect pre-diagnostic samples and validation in independent studies are warranted.

  • GWAS Identifies Risk Locus for Erectile Dysfunction and Implicates Hypothalamic Neurobiology and Diabetes in Etiology.

    11 January 2019

    Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common condition affecting more than 20% of men over 60 years, yet little is known about its genetic architecture. We performed a genome-wide association study of ED in 6,175 case subjects among 223,805 European men and identified one locus at 6q16.3 (lead variant rs57989773, OR 1.20 per C-allele; p = 5.71 × 10-14), located between MCHR2 and SIM1. In silico analysis suggests SIM1 to confer ED risk through hypothalamic dysregulation. Mendelian randomization provides evidence that genetic risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus is a cause of ED (OR 1.11 per 1-log unit higher risk of type 2 diabetes). These findings provide insights into the biological underpinnings and the causes of ED and may help prioritize the development of future therapies for this common disorder.

  • Global, regional, and national burden of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, 1990-2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016.

    11 January 2019

    BACKGROUND: The number of individuals living with dementia is increasing, negatively affecting families, communities, and health-care systems around the world. A successful response to these challenges requires an accurate understanding of the dementia disease burden. We aimed to present the first detailed analysis of the global prevalence, mortality, and overall burden of dementia as captured by the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors (GBD) Study 2016, and highlight the most important messages for clinicians and neurologists. METHODS: GBD 2016 obtained data on dementia from vital registration systems, published scientific literature and surveys, and data from health-service encounters on deaths, excess mortality, prevalence, and incidence from 195 countries and territories from 1990 to 2016, through systematic review and additional data-seeking efforts. To correct for differences in cause of death coding across time and locations, we modelled mortality due to dementia using prevalence data and estimates of excess mortality derived from countries that were most likely to code deaths to dementia relative to prevalence. Data were analysed by standardised methods to estimate deaths, prevalence, years of life lost (YLLs), years of life lived with disability (YLDs), and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs; computed as the sum of YLLs and YLDs), and the fractions of these metrics that were attributable to four risk factors that met GBD criteria for assessment (high body-mass index [BMI], high fasting plasma glucose, smoking, and a diet high in sugar-sweetened beverages). FINDINGS: In 2016, the global number of individuals who lived with dementia was 43·8 million (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 37·8-51·0), increased from 20.2 million (17·4-23·5) in 1990. This increase of 117% (95% UI 114-121) contrasted with a minor increase in age-standardised prevalence of 1·7% (1·0-2·4), from 701 cases (95% UI 602-815) per 100 000 population in 1990 to 712 cases (614-828) per 100 000 population in 2016. More women than men had dementia in 2016 (27·0 million, 95% UI 23·3-31·4, vs 16.8 million, 14.4-19.6), and dementia was the fifth leading cause of death globally, accounting for 2·4 million (95% UI 2·1-2·8) deaths. Overall, 28·8 million (95% UI 24·5-34·0) DALYs were attributed to dementia; 6·4 million (95% UI 3·4-10·5) of these could be attributed to the modifiable GBD risk factors of high BMI, high fasting plasma glucose, smoking, and a high intake of sugar-sweetened beverages. INTERPRETATION: The global number of people living with dementia more than doubled from 1990 to 2016, mainly due to increases in population ageing and growth. Although differences in coding for causes of death and the heterogeneity in case-ascertainment methods constitute major challenges to the estimation of the burden of dementia, future analyses should improve on the methods for the correction of these biases. Until breakthroughs are made in prevention or curative treatment, dementia will constitute an increasing challenge to health-care systems worldwide. FUNDING: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

  • Global, regional, and national burden of traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury, 1990-2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016.

    11 January 2019

    BACKGROUND: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) and spinal cord injury (SCI) are increasingly recognised as global health priorities in view of the preventability of most injuries and the complex and expensive medical care they necessitate. We aimed to measure the incidence, prevalence, and years of life lived with disability (YLDs) for TBI and SCI from all causes of injury in every country, to describe how these measures have changed between 1990 and 2016, and to estimate the proportion of TBI and SCI cases caused by different types of injury. METHODS: We used results from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors (GBD) Study 2016 to measure the global, regional, and national burden of TBI and SCI by age and sex. We measured the incidence and prevalence of all causes of injury requiring medical care in inpatient and outpatient records, literature studies, and survey data. By use of clinical record data, we estimated the proportion of each cause of injury that required medical care that would result in TBI or SCI being considered as the nature of injury. We used literature studies to establish standardised mortality ratios and applied differential equations to convert incidence to prevalence of long-term disability. Finally, we applied GBD disability weights to calculate YLDs. We used a Bayesian meta-regression tool for epidemiological modelling, used cause-specific mortality rates for non-fatal estimation, and adjusted our results for disability experienced with comorbid conditions. We also analysed results on the basis of the Socio-demographic Index, a compound measure of income per capita, education, and fertility. FINDINGS: In 2016, there were 27·08 million (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 24·30-30·30 million) new cases of TBI and 0·93 million (0·78-1·16 million) new cases of SCI, with age-standardised incidence rates of 369 (331-412) per 100 000 population for TBI and 13 (11-16) per 100 000 for SCI. In 2016, the number of prevalent cases of TBI was 55·50 million (53·40-57·62 million) and of SCI was 27·04 million (24·98-30·15 million). From 1990 to 2016, the age-standardised prevalence of TBI increased by 8·4% (95% UI 7·7 to 9·2), whereas that of SCI did not change significantly (-0·2% [-2·1 to 2·7]). Age-standardised incidence rates increased by 3·6% (1·8 to 5·5) for TBI, but did not change significantly for SCI (-3·6% [-7·4 to 4·0]). TBI caused 8·1 million (95% UI 6·0-10·4 million) YLDs and SCI caused 9·5 million (6·7-12·4 million) YLDs in 2016, corresponding to age-standardised rates of 111 (82-141) per 100 000 for TBI and 130 (90-170) per 100 000 for SCI. Falls and road injuries were the leading causes of new cases of TBI and SCI in most regions. INTERPRETATION: TBI and SCI constitute a considerable portion of the global injury burden and are caused primarily by falls and road injuries. The increase in incidence of TBI over time might continue in view of increases in population density, population ageing, and increasing use of motor vehicles, motorcycles, and bicycles. The number of individuals living with SCI is expected to increase in view of population growth, which is concerning because of the specialised care that people with SCI can require. Our study was limited by data sparsity in some regions, and it will be important to invest greater resources in collection of data for TBI and SCI to improve the accuracy of future assessments. FUNDING: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

  • Cholesterol

    21 June 2016

    Blood lipids are a major cause of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Higher levels of LDL cholesterol and lower levels of HDL cholesterol are associated with higher heart disease risk. While this has been known for some time, it is only in recent decades that effective treatments to substantially lower LDL cholesterol have become available.

  • Smoking

    21 June 2016

    The link between smoking and lung cancer was originally discovered by Sir Richard Doll in 1956. Co-director Sir Richard Peto has continued to study the impact of tobacco of global health (see video below). Smoking cigarettes is a leading cause of premature death worldwide. There were about 100 million deaths from tobacco in the 20th century, most in developed countries. If current smoking patterns persist, it is estimated that tobacco will kill about 1 billion people this century, mostly in low- and middle-income countries, and about half of these deaths will occur before age 70.

  • Diabetes Mellitus

    21 June 2016

    Diabetes Mellitus is a group of metabolic disorders in which there are high blood sugars over a prolonged period. Rates of type-2 (or adult onset) diabetes have increased rapidly in recent decades due to changes in diet and other lifestyle factors. Patients with diabetes are at increased risk of a number of diseases, most notably cardiovascular disease, kidney disease and damage to the eyes.

  • Other Chronic Diseases

    21 June 2016

    Chronic disease is responsible for a major part of our society’s burden of disability. In addition to our research into chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and renal disease we conduct a range of research into other diseases, as well as into the care of people with chronic conditions.