Preventing Chronic Disease | Findings and Implications of the Global Burden of Disease 2010 Study for the Pacific Islands - CDC
Findings and Implications of the Global Burden of Disease 2010 Study for the Pacific Islands
Damian Hoy, BAppSc, MPH, PhD; Adam Roth, MD, PhD; Kerri Viney, RN, GrDipAppEpi, MPH; Yvan Souares, MD, MPH; Alan D. Lopez, PhD, HonFAFPHM
Suggested citation for this article:
Hoy D, Roth A, Viney K, Souares Y, Lopez AD. Findings and Implications of the Global Burden of Disease 2010 Study for the Pacific Islands. Prev Chronic Dis 2014;11:130344. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd11.130344
The Global Burden of Disease 2010 Study is the largest study of its kind. It provides a large volume of information about the global burden of disease and associated risk factors. It estimates that lower respiratory infections, diabetes, diarrhea, and tuberculosis cause the greatest burden in the Pacific, and noncommunicable diseases caused a substantially greater burden in 2010 compared with 1990. Although the Pacific is considered to be a region rich in data, very little of these data has been analyzed, synthesized, and made publically available. Consequently, burden estimates for the Pacific are derived from models built with very limited data, and it is difficult to know how accurate they are. Health information in the Pacific needs strengthening, particularly in relation to data collection, analysis, use, and sharing. This will improve the reliability and comparability of burden of disease estimates.
Burden of disease (BoD) research is likely to be a useful tool for policy and programming in the Pacific, as elsewhere. Progressive assessments of the global BoD, which began in the early 1990s, have represented a major step in the ability of governments and researchers to summarize a population’s health. BoD research takes both fatal and nonfatal health outcomes into account and is, therefore, a far more comprehensive measurement framework for assessing disease burden than simply relying on mortality alone (1,2). Results of BoD research have been used throughout the world by both government and nongovernment agencies in assessing health priorities, informing the allocation of resources for health, and evaluating the potential costs and benefits of public health interventions (2,3).
BoD studies describe the burden arising from specific diseases and injuries or that is attributable to specific risk factors, by using a summary measure called disability-adjusted life years (DALYs). This quantifies loss of healthy years of life attributable to premature death and illness against an ideal that everyone in the population lives into old age free of disease (4). DALYs are calculated by adding years of life lost in a population attributable to premature mortality (YLLs) to healthy years of life lost in a population attributable to disability (YLDs). This means that diseases can be compared across populations and within populations over time (2). One of the philosophies of BoD research is to endeavor to incorporate all conditions of public health importance, not just those with available and accurate data. Having said that, studies included in global BoD assessments are usually assessed for quality or risk of bias, and those considered to be poor quality or at high risk of bias are generally excluded. BoD research also measures and attributes disease and injury burden to major risk factors and has been used as the basis on which to compare the cost-effectiveness of population health interventions (2,5).
The most recent Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD 2010) took place from 2007 to 2012, and was a collaboration between numerous universities and experts in epidemiology and other areas of public health research from around the world. Disease burden was calculated for 291 causes in the 21 GBD world regions for 1990, 2005, and 2010 (5). GBD 2010 culminated in 5 key articles (5–9). We discuss and contextualize the findings of GBD 2010 for Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs), as represented by the Oceania region, and suggest ways of improving the reliability and comparability of national health data through strengthening health information systems. This will have profound benefits to local communities, including improving the reliability and comparability of BoD estimates.
Corresponding Author: Damian Hoy, Secretariat of the Pacific Community, BP D5 - 98848, Noumea, New Caledonia. Telephone: 687 26.20.00. E-mail:email@example.com
Author Affiliations: Adam Roth, Kerri Viney, Yvan Souares, Alan D. Lopez, Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Noumea, New Caledonia.
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