The Global Burden of Disease Study: Should we be more critical?
The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study has become the world’s go-to source of information on mortality, disability and risk factors at global, regional, national and sub-national levels. Most researchers at LSHTM will have cited one or more of the GBD papers in their own publications or grant applications, and quite a number will have been co-authors of a GBD paper. The challenge for us as scientists is that the validity of its estimates are hard to establish particularly for areas of the world where there is little data available. The methods used are extremely complex and sometimes produce estimates that are inconsistent with those made by other expert groups or institutions or in some cases simply lack face validity. While GBD’s laudable aim is to provide the best evidence for policy decisions, it is unclear how these data are used in the real world for this purpose. In this seminar, Professor David Leon will lay out some initial thoughts and findings about the GBD study with the intention of provoking more of a critical debate at LSHTM and elsewhere about this extraordinary study.
Professor David Leon, LSHTM