2020 News & Events

A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019

15 October 2020

ambient ozone deaths by country, region per year
The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) update for 2019 is published. CSL scientists compiled global ozone data for this massive report. A key finding: among 87 assessed risks, premature deaths worldwide due to ambient ozone pollution are estimated at 314k, an increase of 16% from 2010. Figure: O. Cooper, NOAA / CIRES

The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) is a critical resource for informed policymaking, with the goal of providing a tool to quantify health loss from hundreds of diseases, injuries, and risk factors, so that health systems worldwide can be improved and disparities can be eliminated.

GBD research incorporates both the prevalence of a given disease or risk factor and the relative harm it causes. The tools allow decision-makers to compare the effects of different diseases, such as malaria versus cancer, and then use that information at home. Collected and analyzed by a consortium of more than 3,600 researchers in more than 145 countries, the data capture premature death and disability from 369 diseases and injuries in 204 countries and territories, by age and sex, from 1990 to the present. This method allows comparisons over time, across age groups, and among populations. Policymakers in Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, and other countries worldwide are collaborating with GBD researchers to adopt this approach for measuring their population's health and determining how it varies by different regions, socioeconomic status, or ethnic groups in their country. Every year GBD produces multiple peer-reviewed studies: Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Publications.

GBD's update for the year 2019 was published in The Lancet 15 October 2020. Among 87 assessed risks, the report includes an update for premature deaths worldwide due to ambient ozone pollution. GBD estimates 365 thousand premature deaths worldwide in the year 2019 due to ambient ozone pollution, an increase of 16 percent from the year 2010 (314 thousand deaths), with India surpassing China with the greatest number of deaths. Estimates of worldwide premature deaths due to ambient particulate matter are much higher: 4,141 thousand deaths in 2019, an increase of 23 percent from 2010. Of all premature deaths in 2019 due to ambient ozone and ambient particulate matter, ozone accounted for 8 percent.

CSL scientists Kai-Lan Chang and Owen Cooper contributed to the ambient ozone mortality estimates by producing a series (1990-2017) of global maps of surface ozone concentrations based on all available observations (provided by the Tropospheric Ozone Assessment Report (TOAR)) and output from six global atmospheric chemistry models. This product, a fusion of observations and the best-performing models, provides a more accurate ozone field than can be achieved by any individual model. This work is a collaboration between CSL / CIRES, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Dr. J. Jason West and Dr. Marc Serre, with support from the NASA Health and Air Quality Applied Sciences Team) and Forschungszentrum Jülich (Dr. Martin Schultz).

Explore the latest GBD numbers on mortality due to ozone, particulate matter and other risk factors.

The Health Effects Institute (HEI) took the latest GBD numbers on air pollution mortality and provided a detailed assessment of the results in their latest State of the Global Air Special Report - A global report card on air pollution exposures and their impacts on human health.

GBD 2019 Risk Factor Collaborators, Global burden of 87 risk factors in 204 countries and territories, 1990–2019: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019, The Lancet, doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30752-2, 2020.

Rigorous analysis of levels and trends in exposure to leading risk factors and quantification of their effect on human health are important to identify where public health is making progress and in which cases current efforts are inadequate. The Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) 2019 provides a standardised and comprehensive assessment of the magnitude of risk factor exposure, relative risk, and attributable burden of disease.