Global disease: The top risk factors

High blood pressure, smoking, alcohol use, air pollution ... Amanda Shendruk on the latest from the Lancet

The well-respected medical journal the Lancet published the world’s largest ever systematic study of global disease. The extremely extensive report contains a wealth of data, and the Lancet’s editor-in-chief  describes it as “a critical contribution to our understanding of present and future health priorities for countries and the global community.”

Within the study, there is an extensive and fascinating section on mortality risks and causes. We all know that the world will soon end so the report won’t be relevant for long, but until then, the below list ranks the top 15 global risk factors and their change in rank since 1990.


For a more detailed look at risks closer to home, the graphic below ranks the top fifteen risk factors for high-income North America.

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