A relatively small number of diseases have a massive impact, researchers found. Just two acute diseases - affecting people for less than three months - caused more than 20 billion new cases of disease globally in 2013: upper respiratory infections (18.8 billion) and diarrheal diseases (2.7 billion).
People across India are living longer but spending more time in ill health as rates of nonfatal diseases and injuries - including major depressive disorder, iron-deficiency anemia, and low back pain - decline more slowly than death rates, according to a new analysis of 301 acute and chronic diseases and injuries in 188 countries.
Years lived with disability (YLDs) quantifies the impact of health problems that impair mobility, hearing, or vision, or cause pain in some way. In 2013, migraines, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and hearing loss were among the 10 leading causes of YLDs in India. Other leading causes included neck pain, diabetes, and anxiety disorders. For both sexes combined, the leading causes of years lived with disability have remained largely the same during this time period, but they take an increased toll on health due to population growth and aging.
For women in India, other musculoskeletal disorders - which include shoulder injuries and fractures from osteoporosis -and diabetes have replaced diarrheal diseases and uncorrected refractive error that causes vision problems as leading causes of years lived with disability. Between 1990 and 2013, YLDs from diabetes increased by 109 percent, and YLDs from other musculoskeletal disorders increased by 110 percent. Iron-deficiency anemia YLDs decreased by 12 percent.
Diabetes YLDs also increased for men in India between 1990 and 2013, climbing 136 percent. YLDs from COPD increased by 76 percent, and iron-deficiency anemia YLDs decreased by 32 percent.
"Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 301 acute and chronic diseases and injuries in188 countries, 1990-2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013" is the first study to examine the extent, pattern, and trends of nonfatal health loss across countries. Published in The Lancet on June 8, the study was conducted by an international consortium of researchers working on the Global Burden of Disease project and led by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington.