When Bill Gates and a gang of Seattle number-crunchers this week revealed the latest phase of the new Global Burden of Disease report – a massive survey of death and disability – news organizations focused on how their home countries scored.
Most media, Australia a notable exception, reported on how poorly they were doing.
Gates and the researchers at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation emphasized that the GBD study, while it did focus on death and disease, also showed major improvements in many countries – especially with respect to child mortality and certain infectious diseases.
Read on for 10 stories spawned by this study from around the globe:
- Britain (Guardian) Why are more Britons susceptible to disease? – “Report reveals smoking, diet, alcohol and drugs are the main contributors to the UK’s below average healthy life expectancy.”
- Australia (News.com) Global Burden of Disease ranks Australia highly – “A new international comparison finds only Iceland and Switzerland outrank us in longevity and healthy life span.” Also of note (Australian Times) New study on life expectancy says we’re all going to die
- United States (Reuters) Alzheimers Disease now fasting-growing threat in the US – “Alzheimer’s disease is the fastest-growing threat to Americans’ health, while early childhood illnesses and interpersonal violence are declining in frequency.”
- China (contextChina) Poor diet, smoking and pollution are leading causes of death – “Over the past two decades China has made incredible progress in lifting large numbers of people out of poverty. But the side effects of the country’s unbridled economic growth include pollution, unhealthy diets and stress.”
- India (Silicon India) Poor health performance ranks India below its neighbors – “India’s health performance has been reported to be at its worst when compared with the neighbouring countries.”
- Russia (Moscow Times) Life expectancy stagnant – “Russia saw virtually no increase in life expectancy from 1990 to 2010 and lagged behind over 100 countries in the key health statistic over that period.”
- South Africa (Mail & Guardian) AIDS most prevalent cause of deaths in South Africa - “Aids kills more people prematurely in SA than another other disease – in sharp contrast to two decades ago, which set it at just 12 percent.”
- Canada (Montreal Gazette) Why poutine is dangerous for Canadians – “The leading risk factor among Canadians for early death and disability is poor dietary practices.” (Editors note: Poutine is french fries, cheese curds and gravy.)
- Argentina (Clarin) Argentines live longer but with less quality (Translated by Google) – “Advances in the medical field now have a cruel irony for most people in the world – less early death, but live many years with disease.”
- Spain (20 Minutos) Study warns of health impact of cuts in the Spanish health (Translated by Google) – “An international study funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation warns that the significant cuts made in the Spanish health are reducing access to certain medical treatments, causing a direct impact on health.”
Here’s a video excerpt of Bill’s comments on Tuesday, at the Gates Foundation, where many were gathered to celebrate the release of the Global Burden of Diseases’s new tools for visually exploring and analyzing country health data: