DiversityNursing Blog

Global life expectancy has 'increased by 6 years since 1990'

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Dec 22, 2014 @ 01:15 PM

By David McNamee

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Between 1990 and 2013, global life expectancy increased by nearly 5.8 years in men and 6.6 years in women, according to a new analysis of the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013 published in The Lancet.

"The progress we are seeing against a variety of illnesses and injuries is good, even remarkable, but we can and must do even better," says lead author Dr. Christopher Murray, professor of Global Health at the University of Washington. 

"The huge increase in collective action and funding given to the major infectious diseases such as diarrhea, measles, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and malaria has had a real impact," he says. 

"However, this study shows that some major chronic diseases have been largely neglected but are rising in importance, particularly drug disorders, liver cirrhosis, diabetes and chronic kidney disease."

The analysis suggests that life expectancies in high-income regions have been increased due to falling death rates from most cancers - which are down by 15% - and cardiovascular diseases - which are down by 22%.

In low-income countries, rapidly declining death rates for diarrhea, lower respiratory tract infections and neonatal disorders have boosted life expectancy.

Despite the increases in global life expectancy by nearly 5.8 years in men and 6.6 years in women, some causes of death have seen increased rates of death since 1990.

These increased causes of death include:

  • Liver cancer caused by hepatitis C (up by 125%)
  • Atrial fibrillation and flutter (serious disorders of heart rhythm; up by 100%)
  • Drug use disorders (up by 63%)
  • Chronic kidney disease (up by 37%)
  • Sickle cell disorders (up by 29%)
  • Diabetes (up by 9%)
  • Pancreatic cancer (up by 7%).

HIV/AIDS has 'erased years of life expectancy' in sub-Saharan Africa

The report also points to one notable global region where life expectancy is not increasing. Deaths from HIV/AIDS have erased more than 5 years of life expectancy in sub-Saharan Africa, say the authors. HIV/AIDS remains the greatest cause of premature death in 20 of the 48 sub-Saharan countries.

Since 1990, years of life worldwide lost due to HIV/AIDS is reported as having increased by 334%.

In Syria, war is the leading cause of premature death - the conflict caused an estimated 29,947 deaths in 2013, and up to 54,903 and 21,422 deaths in each of the preceding 2 years.

Countries that the authors consider to have made "exceptional gains in life expectancy" over the past 23 years include Nepal, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Niger, Maldives, Timor-Leste and Iran - where, for both sexes, life expectancy has increased by more than 12 years.

Life expectancy at birth in India increased from 57.3 years for men and 58.2 years for women in 1990 to 64.2 years and 68.5 years, respectively, in 2013. The authors say that India has made "remarkable progress" in reducing deaths, with the death rates for children dropping 1.3% per year for adults and 3.7% per year for children.

The report also welcomes dramatic drops in child deaths worldwide over the study period. In 1990, 7.6 million children aged 1-59 months died, but this death rate was down to 3.7 million by 2013.

Igor Rudan and Kit Yee Chan, from the Centre for Population Health Sciences and Global Health Academy at the University of Edinburgh Medical School in the UK, write in a linked comment:

"Estimates of the causes of the global burden of disease, disability, and death are important because they guide investment decisions that, in turn, save lives across the world.

Although WHO's team of experts have been doing fine technical work for many years, its monopoly in this field had removed incentives to invest more time and resources in continuous improvement [...] the competition between WHO and the GBD [Global Burden of Disease Study] has benefited the entire global health community, leading to converging estimates of the global causes of death that everyone can trust."

 

Source: www.medicalnewstoday.com

Topics: nurses, community, cancer, doctors, hospitals, medicine, treatment, research, medical, global, survival rates, diseases, death, life expectancy, lives

With ERs, the Busier, the Better, Study Finds

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Jul 21, 2014 @ 01:09 PM

By Robert Preidt

131002130836 cnnhealth busy er story top resized 600

Surviving a life-threatening illness or injury may be more likely if you're treated at a busy emergency department instead of one that handles fewer patients, a new study finds.

Researchers analyzed data on 17.5 million emergency patients treated at nearly 3,000 hospitals across the United States. The overall risk of death in the hospital was 10 percent lower among those who initially went to the busiest emergency departments rather than to the least busy ones, the study found.

"It's too early to say that based on these results, patients and first responders should change their decision about which hospital to choose in an emergency," said the study's lead author, Dr. Keith Kocher, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School.

"But the bottom line is that emergency departments and hospitals perform differently, there really are differences in care and they matter," he added.

The survival difference was even greater for patients with serious, time-sensitive conditions. Death rates were 26 percent lower for sepsis patients and 22 percent lower for lung failure patients who went to the busiest emergency departments, compared to those who went to the least busy ones.

Heart attack patients were also more likely to survive if they went to the busiest emergency departments, according to the study published July 17 in the journal Annals of Emergency Medicine.

If all emergency patients received the kind of care provided at the busiest emergency departments, 24,000 fewer patients would die each year, the researchers said.

The finding held even when the researchers accounted for differences in the patients' health, income level, hospital location and technology, they said.

But the study wasn't designed to look into the reasons for the finding; it only found an association between better survival rates and busier ERs.

"The take-home message for patients is that you should still call 911 or seek the closest emergency care, because you don't know exactly what you're experiencing. What makes one hospital better than another is still a black box, and emergency medicine is still in its infancy in terms of figuring that out," Kocher said in a university news release.

"For those who study and want to improve emergency care and post-emergency care, we hope these findings will inform the way we identify conditions in the pre-hospital setting, where we send patients, and what we do once they arrive at the emergency department and we admit them to an inpatient bed," he added.

Source: http://www.medicinenet.com

Topics: patients, ER, study, researchers, busy, survival rates

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