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[Editorial] Disease, disability, and demography—a world in transition

In today’s Lancet, the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Study 2013 Collaborators report a major study on 301 acute and chronic diseases and injuries, and consequent years lived with disability, in the vast majority of the world’s countries. Drawing on an enormous dataset and applying state-of-the-art statistical analyses, the exercise aims to understand diseases and their effects on people in all regions of the world, and the changes over time, to inform medical practice and public health policy. As Rifat Atun notes in an accompanying Comment, “a radical rethink of health systems” worldwide will be needed to rise to the challenges of multimorbidity and disability.

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