Health disparities across the counties of Kenya and implications for policy makers, 1990-2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:The Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) 2016 provided comprehensive estimates of health loss globally. Decision makers in Kenya can use GBD subnational data to target health interventions and address county-level variation in the burden of disease. METHODS:We used GBD 2016 estimates of life expectancy at birth, healthy life expectancy, all-cause and cause-specific mortality, years of life lost, years lived with disability, disability-adjusted life-years, and risk factors to analyse health by age and sex at the national and county levels in Kenya from 1990 to 2016. FINDINGS:The national all-cause mortality rate decreased from 850·3 (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 829·8-871·1) deaths per 100?000 in 1990 to 579·0 (562·1-596·0) deaths per 100?000 in 2016. Under-5 mortality declined from 95·4 (95% UI 90·1-101·3) deaths per 1000 livebirths in 1990 to 43·4 (36·9-51·2) deaths per 1000 livebirths in 2016, and maternal mortality fell from 315·7 (242·9-399·4) deaths per 100?000 in 1990 to 257·6 (195·1-335·3) deaths per 100?000 in 2016, with steeper declines after 2006 and heterogeneously across counties. Life expectancy at birth increased by 5·4 (95% UI 3·7-7·2) years, with higher gains in females than males in all but ten counties. Unsafe water, sanitation, and handwashing, unsafe sex, and malnutrition were the leading national risk factors in 2016. INTERPRETATION:Health outcomes have improved in Kenya since 2006. The burden of communicable diseases decreased but continues to predominate the total disease burden in 2016, whereas the non-communicable disease burden increased. Health gains varied strikingly across counties, indicating targeted approaches for health policy are necessary. FUNDING:Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The number of individuals living with dementia is increasing, negatively affecting families, communities, and health-care systems around the world. A successful response to these challenges requires an accurate understanding of the dementia disease burden. We aimed to present the first detailed analysis of the global prevalence, mortality, and overall burden of dementia as captured by the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors (GBD) Study 2016, and highlight the most important messages for clinicians and neurologists. METHODS:GBD 2016 obtained data on dementia from vital registration systems, published scientific literature and surveys, and data from health-service encounters on deaths, excess mortality, prevalence, and incidence from 195 countries and territories from 1990 to 2016, through systematic review and additional data-seeking efforts. To correct for differences in cause of death coding across time and locations, we modelled mortality due to dementia using prevalence data and estimates of excess mortality derived from countries that were most likely to code deaths to dementia relative to prevalence. Data were analysed by standardised methods to estimate deaths, prevalence, years of life lost (YLLs), years of life lived with disability (YLDs), and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs; computed as the sum of YLLs and YLDs), and the fractions of these metrics that were attributable to four risk factors that met GBD criteria for assessment (high body-mass index [BMI], high fasting plasma glucose, smoking, and a diet high in sugar-sweetened beverages). FINDINGS:In 2016, the global number of individuals who lived with dementia was 43·8 million (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 37·8-51·0), increased from 20.2 million (17·4-23·5) in 1990. This increase of 117% (95% UI 114-121) contrasted with a minor increase in age-standardised prevalence of 1·7% (1·0-2·4), from 701 cases (95% UI 602-815) per 100?000 population in 1990 to 712 cases (614-828) per 100?000 population in 2016. More women than men had dementia in 2016 (27·0 million, 95% UI 23·3-31·4, vs 16.8 million, 14.4-19.6), and dementia was the fifth leading cause of death globally, accounting for 2·4 million (95% UI 2·1-2·8) deaths. Overall, 28·8 million (95% UI 24·5-34·0) DALYs were attributed to dementia; 6·4 million (95% UI 3·4-10·5) of these could be attributed to the modifiable GBD risk factors of high BMI, high fasting plasma glucose, smoking, and a high intake of sugar-sweetened beverages. INTERPRETATION:The global number of people living with dementia more than doubled from 1990 to 2016, mainly due to increases in population ageing and growth. Although differences in coding for causes of death and the heterogeneity in case-ascertainment methods constitute major challenges to the estimation of the burden of dementia, future analyses should improve on the methods for the correction of these biases. Until breakthroughs are made in prevention or curative treatment, dementia will constitute an increasing challenge to health-care systems worldwide. FUNDING:Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Project description:Importance:More than 20 years have passed since the first publication of estimates of the extent of medical harm occurring in hospitals in the United States. Since then, considerable resources have been allocated to improve patient safety, yet policymakers lack a clear gauge of the progress made. Objectives:To quantify the cause-specific mortality associated with adverse effects of medical treatment (AEMT) in the United States from 1990 to 2016 by age group, sex, and state of residence and to describe trends in types of harm and associations with other diseases and injuries. Design, Setting, and Participants:Cohort study using 1990-2016 data on mortality due to AEMT from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors (GBD) 2016 study, which assessed death certificates of US decedents. Exposures:Death with International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-coded registration. Main Outcomes and Measures:Mortality associated with AEMT. Secondary analyses were performed on all ICD codes in the death certificate's causal chain to describe associations between AEMT and other diseases and injuries. Results:From 1990 to 2016, there were an estimated 123 603 deaths (95% uncertainty interval [UI], 100 856-163 814 deaths) with AEMT as the underlying cause. Despite an overall increase in the number of deaths due to AEMT over time, the national age-standardized mortality rate due to AEMT decreased by 21.4% (95% UI, 1.3%-32.2%) from 1.46 (95% UI, 1.09-1.76) deaths per 100 000 population in 1990 to 1.15 (95% UI, 1.00-1.60) deaths per 100 000 population in 2016. Men and women had similar rates of AEMT mortality, and those 70 years or older had mortality rates nearly 20-fold greater compared with those aged 15 to 49 years (mortality rate in 2016 for both sexes, 7.93 [95% UI, 7.23-11.45] per 100 000 population for those aged ≥70 years vs 0.38 [95% UI, 0.34-0.43] per 100 000 population for those aged 15-49 years). Per 100 000 population, California had the lowest age-standardized AEMT mortality rate at 0.84 deaths (95% UI, 0.57-1.47 deaths), whereas Mississippi had the highest mortality rate at 1.67 deaths (95% UI, 1.19-2.03 deaths). Surgical and perioperative events were the most common subtype of AEMT, accounting for 63.6% of all deaths for which an AEMT was identified as the underlying cause. Conclusions and Relevance:This study's findings suggest a modest reduction in the mortality rate associated with AEMT in the United States from 1990 to 2016 while also observing increased mortality associated with advancing age and noted geographic variability. The annual GBD releases may allow for tracking of the burden of AEMT in the United States.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Despite increasing of the Belgian health expenditures, several indicators related to population health showed poor results. The objectives of this study were to perform an in-depth analysis of the secular trend of Belgian health status using the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2016 study results for Belgium, and to compare these results with other European countries. METHODS:We collected results of the Global Burden of Disease 2016 study through the GBD results and visualization tools. We benchmarked Belgian GBD results with the other initial members of the European Union (EU15). RESULTS:Belgium performed significantly better in 2016 than in 1990 in terms of age-standardized (AS) Year of Life Lost (YLL) rates but not significantly different in terms of AS Year Lived with Disability (YLD) and Disability-Adjusted Life Year (DALY) rates. The contribution of AS YLDs to total of AS DALYs increased from 1990 (42%) to 2016 (54%). Although AS YLD and DALY rates did not seem to differ between Belgium and the EU15 from 1990 to 2016, the ranking of Belgium among the EU15 in terms of AS DALY and YLL rates was worse in 2016 than in 1990. Belgium had significantly higher AS YLL rates for lower respiratory infections (B: 264 AS YLLs [95% uncertainty interval [UI] 231-301] per 100,000; EU15: 188 AS YLLs [95%UI 168-212] per 100,000), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (B: 368 AS YLLs [95%UI 331-407] per 100,000; EU15: 285 AS YLLs [95%UI 258-316] per 100,000) and tracheal, bronchus, and lung cancer (B: 785 AS YLLs [95%UI 699-879] per 100,000; EU15: 613 AS YLLs [95%UI 556-674] per 100,000). CONCLUSION:Belgium's ranking among the EU15 in terms of AS YLL and DALY rates decreased from 1990 to 2016. Significant health gains appear possible by acting on risk factors directly linked to a significant part of the Belgian burden of diseases, i.e., alcohol and tobacco consumption, and high body mass index. National burden of disease estimates can help defining Belgian health targets and are necessary as external validity of GBD results is not always guaranteed.
Project description:BACKGROUND:A systematic understanding of suicide mortality trends over time at the subnational level for India's 1·3 billion people, 18% of the global population, is not readily available. Thus, we aimed to report time trends of suicide deaths, and the heterogeneity in its distribution between the states of India from 1990 to 2016. METHODS:As part of the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) 2016, we estimated suicide death rates (SDRs) for both sexes in each state of India from 1990 to 2016. We used various data sources for estimating cause-specific mortality in India. For suicide mortality in India before 2000, estimates were based largely on GBD covariates. For each state, we calculated the ratio of the observed SDR to the rate expected in geographies globally with similar GBD Socio-demographic Index in 2016 (ie, the observed-to-expected ratio); and assessed the age distribution of suicide deaths, and the men-to-women ratio of SDR over time. Finally, we assessed the probability for India and the states of reaching the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target of a one-third reduction in SDR from 2015 to 2030, using location-wise trends of the age-standardised SDR from 1990 to 2016. We calculated 95% uncertainty intervals (UIs) for the point estimates. FINDINGS:There were 230?314 (95% UI 194?058-250?260) suicide deaths in India in 2016. India's contribution to global suicide deaths increased from 25·3% in 1990 to 36·6% in 2016 among women, and from 18·7% to 24·3% among men. Age-standardised SDR among women in India reduced by 26·7% from 20·0 (95% UI 16·5-23·5) in 1990 to 14·7 (13·1-16·2) per 100?000 in 2016, but the age-standardised SDR among men was the same in 1990 (22·3 [95% UI 14·4-27·4] per 100?000) and 2016 (21·2 [14·6-23·6] per 100?000). SDR in women was 2·1 times higher in India than the global average in 2016, and the observed-to-expected ratio was 2·74, ranging from 0·45 to 4·54 between the states. SDR in men was 1·4 times higher in India than the global average in 2016, with an observed-to-expected ratio of 1·31, ranging from 0·40 to 2·42 between the states. There was a ten-fold variation between the states in the SDR for women and six-fold variation for men in 2016. The men-to-women ratio of SDR for India was 1·34 in 2016, ranging from 0·97 to 4·11 between the states. The highest age-specific SDRs among women in 2016 were for ages 15-29 years and 75 years or older, and among men for ages 75 years or older. Suicide was the leading cause of death in India in 2016 for those aged 15-39 years; 71·2% of the suicide deaths among women and 57·7% among men were in this age group. If the trends observed up to 2016 continue, the probability of India achieving the SDG SDR reduction target in 2030 is zero, and the majority of the states with 81·3% of India's population have less than 10% probability, three states have a probability of 10·3-15·0%, and six have a probability of 25·1-36·7%. INTERPRETATION:India's proportional contribution to global suicide deaths is high and increasing. SDR in India is higher than expected for its Socio-Demographic Index level, especially for women, with substantial variations in the magnitude and men-to-women ratio between the states. India must develop a suicide prevention strategy that takes into account these variations in order to address this major public health problem. FUNDING:Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; and Indian Council of Medical Research, Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Although the burden of influenza is often discussed in the context of historical pandemics and the threat of future pandemics, every year a substantial burden of lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs) and other respiratory conditions (like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) are attributable to seasonal influenza. The Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD) 2017 is a systematic scientific effort to quantify the health loss associated with a comprehensive set of diseases and disabilities. In this Article, we focus on LRTIs that can be attributed to influenza. METHODS:We modelled the LRTI incidence, hospitalisations, and mortality attributable to influenza for every country and selected subnational locations by age and year from 1990 to 2017 as part of GBD 2017. We used a counterfactual approach that first estimated the LRTI incidence, hospitalisations, and mortality and then attributed a fraction of those outcomes to influenza. FINDINGS:Influenza LRTI was responsible for an estimated 145?000 (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 99?000-200?000) deaths among all ages in 2017. The influenza LRTI mortality rate was highest among adults older than 70 years (16·4 deaths per 100?000 [95% UI 11·6-21·9]), and the highest rate among all ages was in eastern Europe (5·2 per 100?000 population [95% UI 3·5-7·2]). We estimated that influenza LRTIs accounted for 9?459?000 (95% UI 3?709?000-22?935?000) hospitalisations due to LRTIs and 81?536?000 hospital days (24?330?000-259?851?000). We estimated that 11·5% (95% UI 10·0-12·9) of LRTI episodes were attributable to influenza, corresponding to 54?481?000 (38?465?000-73?864?000) episodes and 8?172?000 severe episodes (5?000?000-13?296?000). INTERPRETATION:This comprehensive assessment of the burden of influenza LRTIs shows the substantial annual effect of influenza on global health. Although preparedness planning will be important for potential pandemics, health loss due to seasonal influenza LRTIs should not be overlooked, and vaccine use should be considered. Efforts to improve influenza prevention measures are needed. FUNDING:Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Understanding how prevalence, incidence, and mortality of motor neuron diseases change over time and by location is crucial for understanding the causes of these disorders and for health-care planning. Our aim was to produce estimates of incidence, prevalence, and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) for motor neuron diseases for 195 countries and territories from 1990 to 2016 as part of the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) 2016. METHODS:The motor neuron diseases included in this study were amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, spinal muscular atrophy, hereditary spastic paraplegia, primary lateral sclerosis, progressive muscular atrophy, and pseudobulbar palsy. Incidence, prevalence, and DALYs were estimated using a Bayesian meta-regression model. We analysed 14?165 site-years of vital registration cause of death data using the GBD 2016 cause of death ensemble model. The 84 risk factors quantified in GBD 2016 were tested for an association with incidence or death from motor neuron diseases. We also explored the relationship between Socio-demographic Index (SDI; a compound measure of income per capita, education, and fertility) and age-standardised DALYs of motor neuron diseases. FINDINGS:In 2016, globally, 330?918 (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 299?522-367?254) individuals had a motor neuron disease. Motor neuron diseases have caused 926?090 (881?566-961?758) DALYs and 34?325 (33?051-35?364) deaths in 2016. The worldwide all-age prevalence was 4·5 (4·1-5·0) per 100?000 people, with an increase in age-standardised prevalence of 4·5% (3·4-5·7) over the study period. The all-age incidence was 0·78 (95% UI 0·71-0·86) per 100?000 person-years. No risk factor analysed in GBD showed an association with motor neuron disease incidence. The largest age-standardised prevalence was in high SDI regions: high-income North America (16·8, 95% UI 15·8-16·9), Australasia (14·7, 13·5-16·1), and western Europe (12·9, 11·7-14·1). However, the prevalence and incidence were lower than expected based on SDI in high-income Asia Pacific. INTERPRETATION:Motor neuron diseases have low prevalence and incidence, but cause severe disability with a high fatality rate. Incidence of motor neuron diseases has geographical heterogeneity, which is not explained by any risk factors quantified in GBD, suggesting other unmeasured risk factors might have a role. Between 1990 and 2016, the burden of motor neuron diseases has increased substantially. The estimates presented here, as well as future estimates based on data from a greater number of countries, will be important in the planning of services for people with motor neuron diseases worldwide. FUNDING:Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Project description:The aim of this work was to quantify the prevalence and years lived with disability (YLDs) caused by low back pain (LBP) in China from 1990 to 2016. Data from the GBD 2016 (Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2016) were used. We analyzed the age-sex-province-specific prevalence and YLDs for LBP of 33 provinces/regions in China. Comparisons were made with the data retrieved from the 1990 GBD study. We estimated that 5.45 × 10 individuals had LBP in 1990, which rose to 6.73 × 10 in 2016. The age-standardized prevalence of LBP decreased from 5.6% (95% uncertainty interval [95% UI]: 4.9%-6.3%) in 1990 to 4.2% (95% UI: 3.8%-4.8%) in 2016. The YLDs for LBP increased from 6.2 million (95% UI: 4.3-8.3 million) in 1990 to 7.7 million (95% UI: 5.4-10.2) in 2016. Age-standardized YLD rate (per 100,000 person) decreased from 637.5 (95% UI: 449.9-848.8) in 1990 to 481.9 (95% UI: 338.6-637.0) in 2016. A female preponderance was observed for prevalence and YLDs. The prevalence and YLDs rate for LBP slightly decreased from 1990 to 2016 in China; however, the total individuals and YLDs increased. Low back pain still ranks as the second leading cause of YLD burden disease in China. Considerable attention should be paid for LBP, especially in the female population.
Project description:Importance:Understanding global variation in firearm mortality rates could guide prevention policies and interventions. Objective:To estimate mortality due to firearm injury deaths from 1990 to 2016 in 195 countries and territories. Design, Setting, and Participants:This study used deidentified aggregated data including 13?812 location-years of vital registration data to generate estimates of levels and rates of death by age-sex-year-location. The proportion of suicides in which a firearm was the lethal means was combined with an estimate of per capita gun ownership in a revised proxy measure used to evaluate the relationship between availability or access to firearms and firearm injury deaths. Exposures:Firearm ownership and access. Main Outcomes and Measures:Cause-specific deaths by age, sex, location, and year. Results:Worldwide, it was estimated that 251?000 (95% uncertainty interval [UI], 195?000-276?000) people died from firearm injuries in 2016, with 6 countries (Brazil, United States, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, and Guatemala) accounting for 50.5% (95% UI, 42.2%-54.8%) of those deaths. In 1990, there were an estimated 209?000 (95% UI, 172?000 to 235?000) deaths from firearm injuries. Globally, the majority of firearm injury deaths in 2016 were homicides (64.0% [95% UI, 54.2%-68.0%]; absolute value, 161?000 deaths [95% UI, 107?000-182?000]); additionally, 27% were firearm suicide deaths (67?500 [95% UI, 55?400-84?100]) and 9% were unintentional firearm deaths (23?000 [95% UI, 18?200-24?800]). From 1990 to 2016, there was no significant decrease in the estimated global age-standardized firearm homicide rate (-0.2% [95% UI, -0.8% to 0.2%]). Firearm suicide rates decreased globally at an annualized rate of 1.6% (95% UI, 1.1-2.0), but in 124 of 195 countries and territories included in this study, these levels were either constant or significant increases were estimated. There was an annualized decrease of 0.9% (95% UI, 0.5%-1.3%) in the global rate of age-standardized firearm deaths from 1990 to 2016. Aggregate firearm injury deaths in 2016 were highest among persons aged 20 to 24 years (for men, an estimated 34?700 deaths [95% UI, 24?900-39?700] and for women, an estimated 3580 deaths [95% UI, 2810-4210]). Estimates of the number of firearms by country were associated with higher rates of firearm suicide (P?<?.001; R2?=?0.21) and homicide (P?<?.001; R2?=?0.35). Conclusions and Relevance:This study estimated between 195?000 and 276?000 firearm injury deaths globally in 2016, the majority of which were firearm homicides. Despite an overall decrease in rates of firearm injury death since 1990, there was variation among countries and across demographic subgroups.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Stomach cancer is a major health problem in many countries. Understanding the current burden of stomach cancer and the differential trends across various locations is essential for formulating effective preventive strategies. We report on the incidence, mortality, and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) due to stomach cancer in 195 countries and territories from 21 regions between 1990 and 2017. METHODS:Estimates from GBD 2017 were used to analyse the incidence, mortality, and DALYs due to stomach cancer at the global, regional, and national levels. The rates were standardised to the GBD world population and reported per 100?000 population as age-standardised incidence rates, age-standardised death rates, and age-standardised DALY rates. All estimates were generated with 95% uncertainty intervals (UIs). FINDINGS:In 2017, more than 1·22 million (95% UI 1·19-1·25) incident cases of stomach cancer occurred worldwide, and nearly 865?000 people (848?000-885?000) died of stomach cancer, contributing to 19·1 million (18·7-19·6) DALYs. The highest age-standardised incidence rates in 2017 were seen in the high-income Asia Pacific (29·5, 28·2-31·0 per 100?000 population) and east Asia (28·6, 27·3-30·0 per 100?000 population) regions, with nearly half of the global incident cases occurring in China. Compared with 1990, in 2017 more than 356?000 more incident cases of stomach cancer were estimated, leading to nearly 96?000 more deaths. Despite the increase in absolute numbers, the worldwide age-standardised rates of stomach cancer (incidence, deaths, and DALYs) have declined since 1990. The drop in the disease burden was associated with improved Socio-demographic Index. Globally, 38·2% (21·1-57·8) of the age-standardised DALYs were attributable to high-sodium diet in both sexes combined, and 24·5% (20·0-28·9) of the age-standardised DALYs were attributable to smoking in males. INTERPRETATION:Our findings provide insight into the changing burden of stomach cancer, which is useful in planning local strategies and monitoring their progress. To this end, specific local strategies should be tailored to each country's risk factor profile. Beyond the current decline in age-standardised incidence and death rates, a decrease in the absolute number of cases and deaths will be possible if the burden in east Asia, where currently almost half of the incident cases and deaths occur, is further reduced. FUNDING:Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Multiple sclerosis is the most common inflammatory neurological disease in young adults. The Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) provides a systematic method of quantifying various effects of a given condition by demographic variables and geography. In this systematic analysis, we quantified the global burden of multiple sclerosis and its relationship with country development level. METHODS:We assessed the epidemiology of multiple sclerosis from 1990 to 2016. Epidemiological outcomes for multiple sclerosis were modelled with DisMod-MR version 2.1, a Bayesian meta-regression framework widely used in GBD epidemiological modelling. Assessment of multiple sclerosis as the cause of death was based on 13 110 site-years of vital registration data analysed in the GBD's cause of death ensemble modelling module, which is designed to choose the optimum combination of mathematical models and predictive covariates based on out-of-sample predictive validity testing. Data on prevalence and deaths are summarised in the indicator, disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs), which was calculated as the sum of years of life lost (YLLs) and years of life lived with a disability. We used the Socio-demographic Index, a composite indicator of income per person, years of education, and fertility, to assess relations with development level. FINDINGS:In 2016, there were 2 221 188 prevalent cases of multiple sclerosis (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 2 033 866-2 436 858) globally, which corresponded to a 10·4% (9·1 to 11·8) increase in the age-standardised prevalence since 1990. The highest age-standardised multiple sclerosis prevalence estimates per 100 000 population were in high-income North America (164·6, 95% UI, 153·2 to 177·1), western Europe (127·0, 115·4 to 139·6), and Australasia (91·1, 81·5 to 101·7), and the lowest were in eastern sub-Saharan Africa (3·3, 2·9-3·8), central sub-Saharan African (2·8, 2·4 to 3·1), and Oceania (2·0, 1·71 to 2·29). There were 18 932 deaths due to multiple sclerosis (95% UI 16 577 to 21 033) and 1 151 478 DALYs (968 605 to 1 345 776) due to multiple sclerosis in 2016. Globally, age-standardised death rates decreased significantly (change -11·5%, 95% UI -35·4 to -4·7), whereas the change in age-standardised DALYs was not significant (-4·2%, -16·4 to 0·8). YLLs due to premature death were greatest in the sixth decade of life (22·05, 95% UI 19·08 to 25·34). Changes in age-standardised DALYs assessed with the Socio-demographic Index between 1990 and 2016 were variable. INTERPRETATION:Multiple sclerosis is not common but is a potentially severe cause of neurological disability throughout adult life. Prevalence has increased substantially in many regions since 1990. These findings will be useful for resource allocation and planning in health services. Many regions worldwide have few or no epidemiological data on multiple sclerosis, and more studies are needed to make more accurate estimates. FUNDING:Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.