332 results found
Baumgartner J, Brauer M, Ezzati M, 2020, The role of cities in reducing the cardiovascular impacts of environmental pollution in low- and middle-income countries, BMC MEDICINE, Vol: 18, ISSN: 1741-7015
Kontis V, Cobb LK, Mathers CD, et al., 2020, Response by Kontis et al to Letter Regarding Article, "Three Public Health Interventions Could Save 94 Million Lives in 25 Years: Global Impact Assessment Analysis", CIRCULATION, Vol: 141, Pages: E5-E5, ISSN: 0009-7322
Parks RM, Bennett JE, Tamura-Wicks H, et al., 2020, Anomalously warm temperatures are associated with increased injury deaths, Nature Medicine, Vol: 26, Pages: 65-70, ISSN: 1078-8956
Temperatures which deviate from long-term local norm affect human health, and are projected to become more frequent as the global climate changes.1 There is limited data on how such anomalies affect deaths from injuries. Here, we used data on mortality and temperature over 38 years (1980-2017) in the contiguous USA and formulated a Bayesian spatio-temporal model to quantify how anomalous temperatures, defined as deviations of monthly temperature from the local average monthly temperature over the entire analysis period, affect deaths from unintentional (transport, falls and drownings) and intentional (assault and suicide) injuries, by age group and sex. We found that a 1.5°C anomalously warm year, as envisioned under the Paris Climate Agreement,2 would be associated with an estimated 1,601 (95% credible interval 1,430-37 1,776) additional injury deaths. 84% of these additional deaths would occur in males, mostly in adolescent to middle ages. These deaths would comprise of increases in deaths 39 from drownings, transport, assault and suicide, offset partly by a decline in deaths from falls in older ages. The findings demonstrate the need for targeted interventions against injuries during periods of anomalously high temperatures, especially as these episodes are likely to increase with global climate change.
Bentham J, Singh GM, Danaei G, et al., Multidimensional characterization of global food supply from 1961 to 2013, Nature Food, ISSN: 2662-1355
Food systems are increasingly globalized and interdependent and diets around the world are changing. Characterising national food supplies and how they have changed can inform food policies that ensure national food security, support access to healthy diets and enhance environmental sustainability. Here, we analysed data for 171 countries on availability of 18 food groups from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization to identify and track 40 multi-dimensional food supply patterns from 1961 to 2013. Four predominant food group combinations were identified that explained almost 90% of cross-country variance in food supply: animal source and sugar; vegetable; starchy root and fruit; and seafood and oilcrops. South Korea, China and Taiwan experienced the largest changes in food supply over the past five decades, with animal source foods and sugar, vegetables, and seafood and oilcrops all becoming more abundant components of food supply. In contrast, in many Western countries, the supply of animal source foods and sugar declined. Meanwhile, there was remarkably little change in food supply in countries in the sub-Saharan Africa region. These changes have led to a partial global convergence in national supply of animal source foods and sugar, and a divergence in vegetables, and seafood and oilcrops. Our analysis has generated a novel characterisation of food supply that highlights the interdependence of multiple food types in national food systems. A better understanding of how these patterns have evolved and will continue to change is needed to support the delivery of healthy and sustainable food system policies.
Jaime Miranda J, Carrillo-Larco RM, Ferreccio C, et al., 2020, Trends in cardiometabolic risk factors in the Americas between 1980 and 2014: a pooled analysis of population-based surveys, The Lancet Global Health, Vol: 8, Pages: E123-E133, ISSN: 2214-109X
BackgroundDescribing the prevalence and trends of cardiometabolic risk factors that are associated with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is crucial for monitoring progress, planning prevention, and providing evidence to support policy efforts. We aimed to analyse the transition in body-mass index (BMI), obesity, blood pressure, raised blood pressure, and diabetes in the Americas, between 1980 and 2014.MethodsWe did a pooled analysis of population-based studies with data on anthropometric measurements, biomarkers for diabetes, and blood pressure from adults aged 18 years or older. A Bayesian model was used to estimate trends in BMI, raised blood pressure (systolic blood pressure ≥140 mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure ≥90 mm Hg), and diabetes (fasting plasma glucose ≥7·0 mmol/L, history of diabetes, or diabetes treatment) from 1980 to 2014, in 37 countries and six subregions of the Americas.Findings389 population-based surveys from the Americas were available. Comparing prevalence estimates from 2014 with those of 1980, in the non-English speaking Caribbean subregion, the prevalence of obesity increased from 3·9% (95% CI 2·2–6·3) in 1980, to 18·6% (14·3–23·3) in 2014, in men; and from 12·2% (8·2–17·0) in 1980, to 30·5% (25·7–35·5) in 2014, in women. The English-speaking Caribbean subregion had the largest increase in the prevalence of diabetes, from 5·2% (2·1–10·4) in men and 6·4% (2·6–10·4) in women in 1980, to 11·1% (6·4–17·3) in men and 13·6% (8·2–21·0) in women in 2014). Conversely, the prevalence of raised blood pressure has decreased in all subregions; the largest decrease was found in North America from 27·6% (22·3–33·2) in men and 19·9% (15·8–24·4) in women in 1980, to 15·
Carter E, Yan L, Fu Y, et al., 2020, Household transitions to clean energy in a multi-provincial cohort study in China, Nature Sustainability, Vol: 3, Pages: 42-50, ISSN: 2398-9629
Household solid fuel (biomass, coal) burning contributes to climate change and is a leading health risk factor. How and why households stop using solid fuel stoves after adopting clean fuels has not been studied. We assessed trends in the uptake, use, and suspension of household stoves and fuels in a multi-provincial cohort study of 753 Chinese adults and evaluated determinants of clean fuel uptake and solid fuel suspension. Over one-third (35%) and one-fifth (17%) of participants suspended use of solid fuel for cooking and heating, respectively, during the past 20 years. Determinants of solid fuel suspension (younger age, widowed) and of earlier suspension (younger age, higher education, and poor self-reported health status) differed from the determinants of clean fuel uptake (younger age, higher income, smaller households, and retired) and of earlier adoption (higher income). Clean fuel adoption and solid fuel suspension warrant joint consideration as indicators of household energy transition. Household energy research and planning efforts that more closely examine solid fuel suspension may accelerate household energy transitions that benefit climate and human health.
Pearson-Stuttard J, Ezzati M, Gregg E, 2019, Multimorbidity—a defining challenge for health systems, Lancet Public Health, Vol: 4, Pages: e599-e600, ISSN: 2468-2667
Lefler JS, Higbee JD, Burnett RT, et al., 2019, Air pollution and mortality in a large, representative US cohort: multiple-pollutant analyses, and spatial and temporal decompositions, ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH, Vol: 18
Carrillo Larco R, Di Cesare MC, Ezzati M, et al., Transitions of cardio-metabolic risk factors in the Americas between 1980 and 2014, The Lancet Global Health, ISSN: 2214-109X
Background: Describing the levels and trends of cardio-metabolic risk factors associated with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is vital for monitoring progress, planning prevention and provide evidence to support policy efforts. We aimed to analyse the transition in body-mass index (BMI), obesity, blood pressure, raised blood pressure (RBP) and diabetes in the Americas, 1980-2014.Methods: Pooled analysis of population-based studies with data on anthropometric measurements, biomarkers for diabetes, and blood pressure from adults aged 18+ years. A Bayesian model was used to estimate trends in BMI, RBP (systolic blood pressure ≥140 mmHg or diastolic blood pressure ≥90 mmHg) and diabetes(fasting plasma glucose ≥7.0 mmol/l, history of diabetes, or diabetes treatment) from 1980 to 2014 in 37 countries and 6 sub-regions of the Americas.Findings: 389 population-based surveys from the Americas were available. Comparing the 2014 with the 1980 prevalence estimates, the obesity ratio was the largest in the non-English-speaking Caribbean sub-region (4.71 in men and 2.50 in women) showing that the prevalence in 2014 for men is almost five times larger than it was in 1980. The English-speaking Caribbean sub-region had the largest ratio regarding diabetes (2.14 in men and 2.13 in women). Conversely, the ratio for RBP signals that the frequency of this condition has diminished across the region; the largest decrease was found in North America (0.56 in men and 0.54 in women). Interpretation: Despite the generally high prevalence of cardio-metabolic risk factors across the Americas region, estimates also show a high level of heterogeneity in the transition between countries.
Sania A, Sudfeld CR, Danaei G, et al., 2019, Early life risk factors of motor, cognitive and language development: a pooled analysis of studies from low/middle-income countries., BMJ Open, Vol: 9
OBJECTIVE: To determine the magnitude of relationships of early life factors with child development in low/middle-income countries (LMICs). DESIGN: Meta-analyses of standardised mean differences (SMDs) estimated from published and unpublished data. DATA SOURCES: We searched Medline, bibliographies of key articles and reviews, and grey literature to identify studies from LMICs that collected data on early life exposures and child development. The most recent search was done on 4 November 2014. We then invited the first authors of the publications and investigators of unpublished studies to participate in the study. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR SELECTING STUDIES: Studies that assessed at least one domain of child development in at least 100 children under 7 years of age and collected at least one early life factor of interest were included in the study. ANALYSES: Linear regression models were used to assess SMDs in child development by parental and child factors within each study. We then produced pooled estimates across studies using random effects meta-analyses. RESULTS: We retrieved data from 21 studies including 20 882 children across 13 LMICs, to assess the associations of exposure to 14 major risk factors with child development. Children of mothers with secondary schooling had 0.14 SD (95% CI 0.05 to 0.25) higher cognitive scores compared with children whose mothers had primary education. Preterm birth was associated with 0.14 SD (-0.24 to -0.05) and 0.23 SD (-0.42 to -0.03) reductions in cognitive and motor scores, respectively. Maternal short stature, anaemia in infancy and lack of access to clean water and sanitation had significant negative associations with cognitive and motor development with effects ranging from -0.18 to -0.10 SDs. CONCLUSIONS: Differential parental, environmental and nutritional factors contribute to disparities in child development across LMICs. Targeting these factors from prepregnancy through childhood may improve health and develo
Di Angelantonio E, Kaptoge S, Pennells L, et al., 2019, World Health Organization cardiovascular disease risk charts: revised models to estimate risk in 21 global regions, LANCET GLOBAL HEALTH, Vol: 7, Pages: E1332-E1345, ISSN: 2214-109X
Clark SN, Schmidt AM, Carter EM, et al., 2019, Longitudinal evaluation of a household energy package on blood pressure, central hemodynamics, and arterial stiffness in China, Environmental Research, Vol: 177, Pages: 1-11, ISSN: 0013-9351
BackgroundCardiovascular diseases are the leading contributors to disease burden in China and globally, and household air pollution exposure is associated with risk of cardiovascular disease.ObjectivesWe evaluated whether subclinical cardiovascular outcomes in adult Chinese women would improve after distribution of an energy package comprised of a semi-gasifier cookstove, water heater, chimney, and supply of processed biomass fuel.MethodsWe enrolled 204 households (n = 205 women) from 12 villages into a controlled before- and after-intervention study on cardiovascular health and air pollution in Sichuan Province. The intervention was distributed to 124 households during a government-sponsored rural energy demonstration program. The remaining 80 households received the package 18 months later at the end of the study, forming a comparison group. One woman from each household had their blood pressure (BP), central hemodynamics, and arterial stiffness measured along with exposures to air pollution and demographic and household characteristics, on up to five visits. We used a difference-in-differences mixed-effects regression approach with Bayesian inference to assess the impact of the energy package on sub-clinical cardiovascular outcomes.ResultsWomen who did not receive the energy package had greater mean decreases in brachial systolic (−4.1 mmHg, 95% credible interval (95%CIe) −7.3, −0.9) and diastolic BP (−2.0 mmHg, 95%CIe −3.6, −0.5) compared with women who received the package (systolic: −2.7, 95%CIe −5.0, −0.4; diastolic: −0.3, 95%CIe −1.4, 0.8) resulting in slightly positive but not statistically significant difference-in-differences effect estimates of 1.3 mmHg (95%CIe −2.5, 5.2) and 1.7 mmHg (95%CIe −0.3, 3.6), respectively. Similar trends were found for central BP, central pulse pressure, and arterial stiffness. Air pollution exposures decreased on average for both treatment groups
Kontis V, Cobb LK, Mathers CD, et al., 2019, Three public health interventions could save 94 Million lives in 25 Years -global impact assessment analysis, Circulation, Vol: 140, Pages: 715-725, ISSN: 0009-7322
Background:Preventable noncommunicable diseases, mostly cardiovascular diseases, are responsible for 38 million deaths annually. A few well-documented interventions have the potential to prevent many of these deaths, but a large proportion of the population in need does not have access to these interventions. We quantified the global mortality impact of 3 high-impact and feasible interventions: scaling up treatment of high blood pressure to 70%, reducing sodium intake by 30%, and eliminating the intake of artificial trans fatty acids.Methods:We used global data on mean blood pressure levels and sodium and trans fat intake by country, age, and sex from a pooled analysis of population health surveys, and regional estimates of current coverage of antihypertensive medications, and cause-specific mortality rates in each country, as well, with projections from 2015 to 2040. We used the most recent meta-analyses of epidemiological studies to derive relative risk reductions for each intervention. We estimated the proportional effect of each intervention on reducing mortality from related causes by using a generalized version of the population-attributable fraction. The effect of antihypertensive medications and lowering sodium intake were modeled through their impact on blood pressure and as immediate increase/reduction to the proposed targets.Results:The combined effect of the 3 interventions delayed 94.3 million (95% uncertainty interval, 85.7–102.7) deaths during 25 years. Increasing coverage of antihypertensive medications to 70% alone would delay 39.4 million deaths (35.9–43.0), whereas reducing sodium intake by 30% would delay another 40.0 million deaths (35.1–44.6) and eliminating trans fat would delay an additional 14.8 million (14.7–15.0). The estimated impact of trans fat elimination was largest in South Asia. Sub-Saharan Africa had the largest proportion of premature delayed deaths out of all delayed deaths.Conclusions:Three effective inte
Zhou B, Danaei G, Stevens GA, et al., 2019, Long-term and recent trends in hypertension awareness, treatment, and control in 12 high-income countries: an analysis of 123 nationally representative surveys, Lancet, Vol: 394, Pages: 639-651, ISSN: 0140-6736
Background: Antihypertensive medicines are effective in reducing adverse cardiovascular events. Our aim was to compare hypertension awareness, treatment and control, and how they have changed over time, in high-income countries. Methods: We used data on 526,336 participants aged 40-79 years in 123 national health examination surveys from 1976 to 2017 in twelve high-income countries: Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Spain, the UK, and the USA. We calculated the percent of participants with hypertension – defined as systolic blood pressure ≥140mmHg or diastolic blood pressure ≥90mmHg or being on pharmacological treatment for hypertension – who were aware of their condition, who were treated, and whose hypertension was controlled (i.e. lower than 140/90 mmHg). Findings: Canada, South Korea, Australia and the UK have the lowest prevalence of hypertension, and Finland the highest. In the 1980s and early 1990s, treatment rates were at most 40% and control rates were below 25% in most countries and age-sex groups. Over time, hypertension awareness and treatment increased and control rate improved in all twelve countries, with South Korea and Germany experiencing the largest improvements. Most of the increase occurred in the 1990s and early-mid 2000s, having plateaued since in most countries.Canada, Germany, South Korea and the USA have the highest rates of awareness, treatment and control, while Finland, Ireland, Japan and Spain the lowest. Even in the best performing countries, treatment coverage was at most 80% and control rates were below 70%. Interpretation: Hypertension awareness, treatment and control have improved substantially in high-income countries since the 1980s and 1990s. However, control rates have plateaued in the past decade, at levels lower than those in high-quality hypertension
Li S, Yang M, Carter E, et al., 2019, Exposure-Response Associations of Household Air Pollution and Buccal Cell Telomere Length in Women Using Biomass Stoves., Environ Health Perspect, Vol: 127, Pages: 87004-87004
BACKGROUND: Telomere shortening is associated with early mortality and chronic disease. Recent studies indicate that environmental exposures, including urban and traffic-related air pollution, may shorten telomeres. Associations between exposure to household air pollution from solid fuel stoves and telomere length have not been evaluated. METHODS: Among 137 rural Chinese women using biomass stoves ([Formula: see text] of age), we measured 48-h personal exposures to fine particulate matter [PM [Formula: see text] in aerodynamic diameter ([Formula: see text])] and black carbon and collected oral DNA on up to three occasions over a period of 2.5 y. Relative telomere length (RTL) was quantified using a modified real-time polymerase chain reaction protocol. Mixed effects regression models were used to investigate the exposure-response associations between household air pollution and RTL, adjusting for key sociodemographic, behavioral, and environmental covariates. RESULTS: Women's daily exposures to air pollution ranged from [Formula: see text] for [Formula: see text] ([Formula: see text]) and [Formula: see text] for black carbon ([Formula: see text]). Natural cubic spline models indicated a mostly linear association between increased exposure to air pollution and shorter RTL, except at very high concentrations where there were few observations. We thus modeled the linear associations with all observations, excluding the highest 3% and 5% of exposures. In covariate-adjusted models, an interquartile range (IQR) increase in exposure to black carbon ([Formula: see text]) was associated with shorter RTL [all observations: [Formula: see text] (95% CI: [Formula: see text], [Formula: see text]); excluding highest 5% exposures: [Formula: see text] (95% CI: [Formula: see text], [Formula: see text])]. Further adjustment for outdoor temperature brought the estimates closer to zero [all observations: [Formula: see text] (95% CI: [Formula: see text], 0.06); excluding highest 5% expos
Arden Pope C, Lefler JS, Ezzati M, et al., 2019, Mortality risk and fine particulate air pollution in a large, representative cohort of U.S. adults, Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol: 127, Pages: 077007-1-077007-9, ISSN: 0091-6765
Background: Evidence indicates that air pollution contributes to cardiopulmonary mortality. There is ongoing debate regarding the size and shape of the pollution-mortality exposure-response relationship. There are also growing appeals for estimates of pollution-mortality relationships that use public data and are based on large, representative study cohorts.Objectives: Evaluate fine particulate matter air pollution (PM2.5) and mortality using a large cohort that is representative of the U.S. population and is based on public data. Additional objectives include exploring model sensitivity, evaluating relative effects across selected subgroups, and assessing the shape of the PM2.5-mortality relationship.Methods: National Health Interview Surveys (1986-2014), with mortality linkage through 2015, were used to create a cohort of 1,599,329 U.S. adults and a sub-cohort with information on smoking and BMI of 635,539 adults. Data were linked with modeled ambient PM2.5 at census tracts. Cox Proportional Hazards models estimated PM2.5-mortality hazard ratios for all-cause and specific causes of death controlling for individual risk factors and regional and urban versus rural differences. Sensitivity and subgroup analyses were conducted and the shape of the PM2.5-mortality relationship was explored.Results: Estimated mortality hazard ratios, per 10 µg/m3 long-term exposure to PM2.5, were 1.12 (95% CI=1.08–1.15) for all-cause mortality, 1.23 (1.17–1.29) for cardiopulmonary mortality, and 1.12 (1.00 – 1.26) for lung cancer mortality. In general, PM2.5-mortality associations were consistently positive for all-cause and cardiopulmonary across key modeling choices and across sub-groups of sex, age, race-ethnicity, income, education levels, and geographic regions.Discussion: This large, nationwide, representative cohort of U.S. adults provides robust evidence that long-term PM2.5 exposure contributes to cardiopulmonary mortality risk. The ubiquito
Bennett J, Tamura-Wicks H, Parks R, et al., 2019, Particulate matter air pollution and national and county life expectancy loss in the USA: a spatiotemporal analysis, PLoS Medicine, Vol: 16, ISSN: 1549-1277
Background Exposure to fine particulate matter pollution (PM2.5) is hazardous to health. Our aim was to directly estimate the health and longevity impacts of current PM2.5 concentrations, and the benefits of reductions from 1999 to 2015, nationally and at county level, for the entire contemporary population of the contiguous United States. Methods and findings We used vital registration and population data with information on sex, age, cause of death and county of residence. We used four Bayesian spatio-temporal models, with different adjustments for other determinants of mortality, to directly estimate mortality and life expectancy loss due to current PM2.5 pollution, and the benefits of reductions since 1999, nationally and by county. The covariates included in the adjusted models were per capita income; percentage of population whose family income is below the poverty threshold, who are of Black or African American race, who have graduated from high-school, who live in urban areas, and who are unemployed; cumulative smoking; and mean temperature and relative humidity. In the main model, which adjusted for these covariates and for unobserved county characteristics through the use of county random intercepts, PM2.5 pollution in excess of the lowest observed concentration (2.8 µg/m3) was responsible for an estimated 15,612 deaths (95% credible interval 13,248-17,945) in females and in 14,757 deaths (12,617-16,919) for males. These deaths would lower national life expectancy by an estimated 0.15 years (0.13-0.17) for women and 0.13 years (0.11-0.15) for men. The life expectancy loss due to PM2.5 was largest around Los Angeles and in some southern states, such as Arkansas, Oklahoma or Alabama. At any PM2.5 concentration, life expectancy loss was, on average, larger in counties with lower income than in wealthier counties. Reductions in PM2.5 since 1999 have lowered mortality in all but 14 counties where PM2.5 increased slightly. The main limitation of our study
Taddei C, Jackson R, Zhou B, et al., National trends in total cholesterol obscure heterogeneous changes in HDL and non-HDL cholesterol and total-to-HDL cholesterol ratio: an analysis of trends in Asian and Western countries, International Journal of Epidemiology, ISSN: 1464-3685
Background: Although high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and non-HDL cholesterol have opposite associations with coronary heart disease (CHD), multi-country reports of lipid trends only use total cholesterol (TC). Our aim was to compare trends in total, HDL and non-HDL cholesterol and total-to-HDL cholesterol ratio in Asian and Western countries.Methods: We pooled 458 population-based studies with 82.1 million participants in 23 Asian and Western countries. We estimated changes in mean total, HDL and non-HDL cholesterol, and mean total-to-HDL cholesterol ratio by country, sex and age group.Results: Since ~1980, mean TC increased in Asian countries. In Japan and South Korea, TC rise was due to rising HDL cholesterol, which increased by up to 0.17 mmol/L per decade in Japanese women; in China, it was due to rising non-HDL cholesterol. TC declined in Western countries, except in Polish men. The decline was largest in Finland and Norway, ~0.4 mmol/Lper decade. The decline in TC in most Western countries was the net effect of an increase in HDL cholesterol and a decline in non-HDL cholesterol, with the HDL cholesterol increase largest in New Zealand and Switzerland. Mean total-to-HDL cholesterol ratio declined in Japan, South Korea and most Western countries, by as much as ~0.7 per decade in Swiss men (equivalent to ~26% decline in CHD risk per decade). The ratio increased in China. Conclusions: HDL cholesterol has risen and total-to-HDL cholesterol ratio has declined in many Western countries, Japan and South Korea, with only weak correlation to changes in TC or non-HDL cholesterol.
Wolfenden L, Ezzati M, Larijani B, et al., 2019, The challenge for global health systems in preventing and managing obesity, OBESITY REVIEWS, Vol: 20, Pages: 185-193, ISSN: 1467-7881
Being the second-largest country in the Middle East, Iran has a long history of civilisation during which several dynasties have been overthrown and established and health-related structures have been reorganised. Iran has had the replacement of traditional practices with modern medical treatments, emergence of multiple pioneer scientists and physicians with great contributions to the advancement of science, environmental and ecological changes in addition to large-scale natural disasters, epidemics of multiple communicable diseases, and the shift towards non-communicable diseases in recent decades. Given the lessons learnt from political instabilities in the past centuries and the approaches undertaken to overcome health challenges at the time, Iran has emerged as it is today. Iran is now a country with a population exceeding 80 million, mainly inhabiting urban regions, and has an increasing burden of non-communicable diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, diabetes, malignancies, mental disorders, substance abuse, and road injuries.
Bixby H, Bentham J, Zhou B, et al., 2019, Rising rural body-mass index is the main driver of the global obesity epidemic, Nature, Vol: 569, Pages: 260-264, ISSN: 0028-0836
Body-mass index (BMI) has increased steadily in most countries in parallel with a rise in the proportion of the population who live in cities1,2. This has led to a widely reported view that urbanization is one of the most important drivers of the global rise in obesity3,4,5,6. Here we use 2,009 population-based studies, with measurements of height and weight in more than 112 million adults, to report national, regional and global trends in mean BMI segregated by place of residence (a rural or urban area) from 1985 to 2017. We show that, contrary to the dominant paradigm, more than 55% of the global rise in mean BMI from 1985 to 2017—and more than 80% in some low- and middle-income regions—was due to increases in BMI in rural areas. This large contribution stems from the fact that, with the exception of women in sub-Saharan Africa, BMI is increasing at the same rate or faster in rural areas than in cities in low- and middle-income regions. These trends have in turn resulted in a closing—and in some countries reversal—of the gap in BMI between urban and rural areas in low- and middle-income countries, especially for women. In high-income and industrialized countries, we noted a persistently higher rural BMI, especially for women. There is an urgent need for an integrated approach to rural nutrition that enhances financial and physical access to healthy foods, to avoid replacing the rural undernutrition disadvantage in poor countries with a more general malnutrition disadvantage that entails excessive consumption of low-quality calories.
Suel E, Polak J, Bennett J, et al., 2019, Measuring social, environmental and health inequalities using deep learning and street imagery, Scientific Reports, Vol: 9, ISSN: 2045-2322
Cities are home to an increasing majority of the world’s population. Currently, it is difficult to track social, economic, environmental and health outcomes in cities with high spatial and temporal resolution, needed to evaluate policies regarding urban inequalities. We applied a deep learning approach to street images for measuring spatial distributions of income, education, unemployment, housing, living environment, health and crime. Our model predicts different outcomes directly from raw images without extracting intermediate user-defined features. To evaluate the performance of the approach, we first trained neural networks on a subset of images from London using ground truth data at high spatial resolution from official statistics. We then compared how trained networks separated the best-off from worst-off deciles for different outcomes in images not used in training. The best performance was achieved for quality of the living environment and mean income. Allocation was least successful for crime and self-reported health (but not objectively measured health). We also evaluated how networks trained in London predict outcomes three other major cities in the UK: Birmingham, Manchester, and Leeds. The transferability analysis showed that networks trained in London, fine-tuned with only 1% of images in other cities, achieved performances similar to ones from trained on data from target cities themselves. Our findings demonstrate that street imagery has the potential complement traditional survey-based and administrative data sources for high-resolution urban surveillance to measure inequalities and monitor the impacts of policies that aim to address them.
Brehmer C, Lai A, Clark S, et al., 2019, The oxidative potential of personal and household PM2.5 in a rural setting in southwestern China, Environmental Science and Technology, Vol: 53, Pages: 2788-2798, ISSN: 0013-936X
The chemical constituents of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) vary by source and capacity to participate in redox reactions in the body, which produce cytotoxic reactive oxygen species (ROS). Knowledge of the sources and components of PM2.5 may provide insight into the adverse health effects associated with the inhalation of PM2.5 mass. We collected 48 h household and personal PM2.5 exposure measurements in the summer months among 50 women/household pairs in a rural area of southwestern China where daily household biomass burning is common. PM2.5 mass was analyzed for ions, trace metals, black carbon, and water-soluble organic matter, as well as ROS-generating capability (oxidative potential) by one cellular and one acellular assay. Crustal enrichment factors and a principal component analysis identified the major sources of PM2.5 as dust, biomass burning, and secondary sulfate. Elements associated with the secondary sulfate source (As, Mo, Zn) had the strongest correlation with increased cellular oxidative potential (Spearman r: 0.74, 0.68, and 0.64). Chemical markers of biomass burning (water-soluble potassium and water-soluble organic matter) had negligible oxidative potential, suggesting that these assays may not be useful as health-relevant exposure metrics in populations that are exposed to high levels of smoke from household biomass burning.
Jaacks LM, Vandevijvere S, Pan A, et al., 2019, The obesity transition: stages of the global epidemic, Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, Vol: 7, Pages: 231-240, ISSN: 2213-8595
The global prevalence of obesity has increased substantially over the past 40 years, from less than 1% in 1975, to 6–8% in 2016, among girls and boys, and from 3% to 11% among men and from 6% to 15% among women over the same time period. Our aim was to consolidate the evidence on the epidemiology of obesity into a conceptual model of the so-called obesity transition. We used illustrative examples from the 30 most populous countries, representing 77·5% of the world's population to propose a four stage model. Stage 1 of the obesity transition is characterised by a higher prevalence of obesity in women than in men, in those with higher socioeconomic status than in those with lower socioeconomic status, and in adults than in children. Many countries in south Asia and sub-Saharan Africa are presently in this stage. In countries in stage 2 of the transition, there has been a large increase in the prevalence among adults, a smaller increase among children, and a narrowing of the gap between sexes and in socioeconomic differences among women. Many Latin American and Middle Eastern countries are presently at this stage. High-income east Asian countries are also at this stage, albeit with a much lower prevalence of obesity. In stage 3 of the transition, the prevalence of obesity among those with lower socioeconomic status surpasses that of those with higher socioeconomic status, and plateaus in prevalence can be observed in women with high socioeconomic status and in children. Most European countries are presently at this stage. There are too few signs of countries entering into the proposed fourth stage of the transition, during which obesity prevalence declines, to establish demographic patterns. This conceptual model is intended to provide guidance to researchers and policy makers in identifying the current stage of the obesity transition in a population, anticipating subpopulations that will develop obesity in the future, and enacting proactive measures to at
Swinburn BA, Kraak VI, Allender S, et al., 2019, The Global Syndemic of Obesity, Undernutrition, and Climate Change: The Lancet Commission report, LANCET, Vol: 393, Pages: 791-846, ISSN: 0140-6736
Smith Fawzi MC, Andrews KG, Fink G, et al., 2019, Lifetime economic impact of the burden of childhood stunting attributable to maternal psychosocial risk factors in 137 low/middle-income countries, BMJ Global Health, Vol: 4, ISSN: 2059-7908
Introduction: The first 1000 days of life is a period of great potential and vulnerability. In particular, physical growth of children can be affected by the lack of access to basic needs as well as psychosocial factors, such as maternal depression. The objectives of the present study are to: (1) quantify the burden of childhood stunting in low/middle-income countries attributable to psychosocial risk factors; and (2) estimate the related lifetime economic costs. Methods: A comparative risk assessment analysis was performed with data from 137 low/middle-income countries throughout Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, North Africa and the Middle East, and sub-Saharan Africa. The proportion of stunting prevalence, defined as <-2 SDs from the median height for age according to the WHO Child Growth Standards, and the number of cases attributable to low maternal education, intimate partner violence (IPV), maternal depression and orphanhood were calculated. The joint effect of psychosocial risk factors on stunting was estimated. The economic impact, as reflected in the total future income losses per birth cohort, was examined. Results: Approximately 7.2 million cases of stunting in low/middle-income countries were attributable to psychosocial factors. The leading risk factor was maternal depression with 3.2 million cases attributable. Maternal depression also demonstrated the greatest economic cost at $14.5 billion, followed by low maternal education ($10.0 billion) and IPV ($8.5 billion). The joint cost of these risk factors was $29.3 billion per birth cohort. Conclusion: The cost of neglecting these psychosocial risk factors is significant. Improving access to formal secondary school education for girls may offset the risk of maternal depression, IPV and orphanhood. Focusing on maternal depression may play a key role in reducing the burden of stunting. Overall, addressing psychosocial factors among perinatal women can have a signi
Lai AM, Carter E, Shan M, et al., 2019, Chemical composition and source apportionment of ambient, household, and personal exposures to PM2.5 in communities using biomass stoves in rural China, SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT, Vol: 646, Pages: 309-319, ISSN: 0048-9697
Bennett J, Pearson-Stuttard J, Kontis V, et al., 2018, Contributions of diseases and injuries to widening life expectancy inequalities in England from 2001 to 2016: population-based analysis of vital registration data, The Lancet Public Health, Vol: 3, Pages: e586-e597, ISSN: 2468-2667
BackgroundLife expectancy inequalities in England have increased steadily since the 1980s. Our aim was to investigate how much deaths from different diseases and injuries and at different ages have contributed to this rise to inform policies that aim to reduce health inequalities.MethodsWe used vital registration data from the Office for National Statistics on population and deaths in England, by underlying cause of death, from 2001 to 2016, stratified by sex, 5-year age group, and decile of the Index of Multiple Deprivation (based on the ranked scores of Lower Super Output Areas in England in 2015). We grouped the 7·65 million deaths by their assigned International Classification of Diseases (10th revision) codes to create categories of public health and clinical relevance. We used a Bayesian hierarchical model to obtain robust estimates of cause-specific death rates by sex, age group, year, and deprivation decile. We calculated life expectancy at birth by decile of deprivation and year using life-table methods. We calculated the contributions of deaths from each disease and injury, in each 5-year age group, to the life expectancy gap between the most deprived and affluent deciles using Arriaga's method.FindingsThe life expectancy gap between the most affluent and most deprived deciles increased from 6·1 years (95% credible interval 5·9–6·2) in 2001 to 7·9 years (7·7–8·1) in 2016 in females and from 9·0 years (8·8–9·2) to 9·7 years (9·6–9·9) in males. Since 2011, the rise in female life expectancy has stalled in the third, fourth, and fifth most deprived deciles and has reversed in the two most deprived deciles, declining by 0·24 years (0·10–0·37) in the most deprived and 0·16 years (0·02–0·29) in the second-most deprived by 2016. Death rates from every disease and at every age were higher in depriv
Pennells L, Kaptoge S, Wood A, et al., 2018, Equalization of four cardiovascular risk algorithms after systematic recalibration: individual-participant meta-analysis of 86 prospective studies, European Heart Journal, Vol: 40, Pages: 621-631, ISSN: 1522-9645
Aims: There is debate about the optimum algorithm for cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk estimation. We conducted head-to-head comparisons of four algorithms recommended by primary prevention guidelines, before and after 'recalibration', a method that adapts risk algorithms to take account of differences in the risk characteristics of the populations being studied. Methods and results: Using individual-participant data on 360 737 participants without CVD at baseline in 86 prospective studies from 22 countries, we compared the Framingham risk score (FRS), Systematic COronary Risk Evaluation (SCORE), pooled cohort equations (PCE), and Reynolds risk score (RRS). We calculated measures of risk discrimination and calibration, and modelled clinical implications of initiating statin therapy in people judged to be at 'high' 10 year CVD risk. Original risk algorithms were recalibrated using the risk factor profile and CVD incidence of target populations. The four algorithms had similar risk discrimination. Before recalibration, FRS, SCORE, and PCE over-predicted CVD risk on average by 10%, 52%, and 41%, respectively, whereas RRS under-predicted by 10%. Original versions of algorithms classified 29-39% of individuals aged ≥40 years as high risk. By contrast, recalibration reduced this proportion to 22-24% for every algorithm. We estimated that to prevent one CVD event, it would be necessary to initiate statin therapy in 44-51 such individuals using original algorithms, in contrast to 37-39 individuals with recalibrated algorithms. Conclusion: Before recalibration, the clinical performance of four widely used CVD risk algorithms varied substantially. By contrast, simple recalibration nearly equalized their performance and improved modelled targeting of preventive action to clinical need.
Steel N, Ford JA, Newton JN, et al., 2018, Changes in health in the countries of the UK and 150 English Local Authority areas 1990–2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016, The Lancet, Vol: 392, Pages: 1647-1661, ISSN: 0140-6736
BackgroundPrevious studies have reported national and regional Global Burden of Disease (GBD) estimates for the UK. Because of substantial variation in health within the UK, action to improve it requires comparable estimates of disease burden and risks at country and local levels. The slowdown in the rate of improvement in life expectancy requires further investigation. We use GBD 2016 data on mortality, causes of death, and disability to analyse the burden of disease in the countries of the UK and within local authorities in England by deprivation quintile.MethodsWe extracted data from the GBD 2016 to estimate years of life lost (YLLs), years lived with disability (YLDs), disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs), and attributable risks from 1990 to 2016 for England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the UK, and 150 English Upper-Tier Local Authorities. We estimated the burden of disease by cause of death, condition, year, and sex. We analysed the association between burden of disease and socioeconomic deprivation using the Index of Multiple Deprivation. We present results for all 264 GBD causes of death combined and the leading 20 specific causes, and all 84 GBD risks or risk clusters combined and 17 specific risks or risk clusters.FindingsThe leading causes of age-adjusted YLLs in all UK countries in 2016 were ischaemic heart disease, lung cancers, cerebrovascular disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Age-standardised rates of YLLs for all causes varied by two times between local areas in England according to levels of socioeconomic deprivation (from 14 274 per 100 000 population [95% uncertainty interval 12 791–15 875] in Blackpool to 6888 [6145–7739] in Wokingham). Some Upper-Tier Local Authorities, particularly those in London, did better than expected for their level of deprivation. Allowing for differences in age structure, more deprived Upper-Tier Local Authorities had higher attributable YLLs for most major risk factors in the GBD.
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