Friday, November 09, 2018

Mapping Global Causes of Death

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation has released the results of the 2017 Global Burden of Disease Study. The study investigates causes of death in countries around the world. You can explore the results of the study on GBD Compare, an interactive tool which visualizes estimates of the world’s health for 359 diseases and injuries and 84 risk factors from 1990 to 2017.

The map is particularly good for identifying anomalous causes of death in different countries. If a country is the only country in the world shown in red for a cause of death then it obviously has a health concern in this area. For example if you visualize opioid deaths on the map you can clearly see that this is a huge problem for the US. In fact the death rate from opioids is twice as high in the USA as it is in Libya, which has the second highest rate of deaths from opioids.

opioid death rates

If you map cardiovascular diseases then you can see how heart diseases are very high in many countries in the former Soviet bloc.
cardiovascular death rates

Deaths from guns is a big problem in a number of South & Central American countries.

firearm death rates

For the examples above I have used the GBD Compare map view to visualize country death rates for three causes of death. The GBD Compare tool has many other ways to interact and visualize health around the globe. As well as the map view you can visualize the data using treemaps, arrow diagrams, and many other types of chart. You can use these tools not only to explore patterns and trends by country but by age and sex as well.
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