The science world was today rocked by news that more than 95% of the world’s total population is ill! The new study, published in US journal The Lancet, has found that humans are actually more frequently ill than previously thought.
The analysis of the 2013 Global Burden of Disease Study found that a third of those surveyed reported having more than five serious illnesses. In Australia, the statistics were just as alarming. The 23-year-long study utilised a YLD (Years Lived With Disability) tool in order to evaluate and examine the rise in diseases around the world.
Diabetes, for instance, has become a much more serious concern, with a whopping 43% increase over two decades. Though rates of diagnosis were at an all time high, the death-rate associated with the deadly disease rose by a slim 9%. In Australia, the diagnosis of diabetes increased by a truly amazing 212% for women and 198% for men over the period of study.
The study also revealed that Australians are commonly afflicted with a host of diseases and health issues. The ten most common included: lower back pain, major depressive disorder, other musculoskeletal disorders, neck pain, migraine, anxiety disorders, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), asthma, hearing loss (particularly age-related) and diabetes mellitus.
So what do the report’s authors think about the fact that the world’s population s living longer than ever before? For the scientists, that factor is critical. “Ageing of the world’s population is leading to a substantial increase in the numbers of individuals with sequelae of diseases and injuries,” the report’s summary reads.
“Rates of YLDs are declining much more slowly than mortality rates. The non-fatal dimensions of disease and injury will require more and more attention from health systems. The transition to non-fatal outcomes as the dominant source of burden of disease is occurring rapidly outside of sub-Saharan Africa.”
The study, which was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is aimed at “…guiding future health initiatives through examination of epidemiological trends and a better understanding of variation across countries.” Here’s hoping they can achieve their stated goals.
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