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Most Caribbean people living longer, except young men - report

Published:Thursday | September 5, 2013 | 3:27 PM


A new World Bank report states that with the exception of young men, most people in the Caribbean and Latin America are living much longer than they did 40 years ago.

The report, “The Global Burden of Disease: Generating Evidence, Guiding Policy,” released on Wednesday by the World Bank and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), also says the mortality rate in the region has dropped by at least 80 per cent for children four-years-old or younger and by more than 50 per cent for women between the ages of 20 and 44.

For men between the ages of 15 and 19, however, the mortality rate has increased by one per cent, largely due to deaths from road injuries and rising violence.

It also highlights the fact that the Latin America and Caribbean region (LAC) faces increasing threats from chronic disease, violence and road traffic injuries.

In the region, health loss from heart disease grew by 36 per cent between 1990 and 2010, while interpersonal violence, depression and low back pain grew by 35, 40 and 57 per cent, respectively.

The report is based on the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2010 (GBD 2010), a collaborative effort of researchers from 50 countries around the world led by IHME at the University of Washington and supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The report finds that, similar to global trends, communicable, maternal, nutritional, and newborn diseases are becoming less important in LAC as non-communicable diseases kill more people prematurely and cause increasing disability.

“The rapid shifts in disease burden place poor people in low- and middle-income countries at high risk of not having access to appropriate services and incurring payments for health care that push them deeper into poverty,” said Timothy Evans, World Bank Director of Health, Nutrition and Population.

“The data in these new reports are critical inputs to the efforts of policymakers in countries towards universal health coverage that aim to improve the health of their people, communities, and economies,” he added.

The report details preventable risk factors that account for a substantial amount of premature death and disability in the region.

These include dietary risks, which include not eating enough fruit, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and eating too much salt.

The World Bank said it commissioned the first Global Burden of Disease analysis as part of its World Development Report 1993.


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