Comment: This article from The Guardian examines findings from the global burden of disease study published in The Lancet in October 2020. Information about preventable diseases has long been known yet global/national preventive programs have in general failed. The reasons for the failure are complex and relate to social inequities, politics, access and beliefs/values. Itis a major area of focus for health psychologists.
Australians are living longer lives but in poorer health, as smoking, obesity and poor diets continue to leave people susceptible to disease and death.
The latest findings from the global burden of disease study, published in the international medical journal the Lancet, analysed 286 causes of death, 369 diseases and injuries, and 87 risk factors in 204 countries and territories.
It found that while healthy life expectancy in Australia has increased steadily over 30 years to 70 years in 2019 (a 4.1-year increase from 1990), this had not risen as much as overall life expectancy (82.9 years in 2019; a 5.9-year increase from 1990), indicating that people are living longer in poor health.