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Life and health are not even across the U.S.

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Findings should motivate clinicians and policy makers

This report on Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study data profoundly and powerfully illuminates U.S. health trends over time and by geography. There is much unfinished business for us, nationally and at the state level.

Clinicians and policy makers can use the rankings to evaluate why many individuals are still experiencing injury, disease, and deaths that are preventable; in doing so, the entire nation could move closely resemble a United States of health.

Clinicians could use the results to help guide patients through evidence-based disease prevention and early intervention, a strategy that has led to decreases in death due to cancer and cardiovascular disease over the past few decades.

At the same time, policy makers could use GBD 2016 results to reevaluate current national attitudes toward disease prevention.

Howard K. Koh, MD, MPH, is with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston. Anand K. Parekh, MD, MPH, is with the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington. The comments above are derived from an editorial accompanying the report from the US Burden of Disease Collaborators ( JAMA. 2018;319[14]:1438-40 ). Dr. Koh and Dr. Parekh reported no conflicts of interest related to the editorial.



“While multiple strategies are available for dealing with these problems, they have not until very recently garnered attention,” investigators wrote.

The study was supported in part by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Some individual study collaborators reported disclosures related to Savient, Takeda, Crealta/Horizon, Regeneron, Allergan, and others.

SOURCE: The US Burden of Disease Collaborators. JAMA 2018;319(14):1444-72.

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