Call to increase public health funding to combat chronic disease crisis

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has funded the most comprehensive global health study ever undertaken, by the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), which will be published today in The Lancet medical journal.

The Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD) explains how well the world’s population were prepared for the impact of COVID-19 in terms of underlying health.

The report urges governments globally to increase public health funding to combat chronic disease.

Key points
The Australian results found:  
·        The top-5 risk factors for death in Australia in 2019 were high systolic blood pressure (contributing to an estimated 25,500 deaths), dietary risks (21,600 deaths), tobacco use (20,100 deaths), high BMI (18,700 deaths), and high blood sugar (17,700 deaths).
·        Ischaemic heart disease was the leading cause of poor health (DALYs) in the region in 2019, followed by low back pain, falls, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and depressive disorders.
·        The number of years a person can expect to live in good health—has increased steadily over the past three decades to 70.0 years in Australia (a 4.1 year increase from 1990) in 2019, but it has not risen as much as overall life expectancy (82.9; a 5.9 year increase from 1990), indicating that people are living more years in poor health.

  Link to study: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/issue/vol396no10258/PIIS0140-6736(20)X0042-0 

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