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[Comment] A transition towards a healthier global population?

The latest estimates from the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) team1 explicitly address not only increases in life expectancy, but also the extent to which additional years of life are associated with good health and the implications for the process of epidemiological transition around the world. In the period 1990–2013, they report that worldwide life expectancy at birth increased by 6·2 years (95% uncertainty interval 5·6–6·6), and healthy life expectancy at birth by 5·4 years (4·9–5·8). Although the study notes a widespread shortage of relevant data about disability, evidence such as there is suggests that years of life expectancy gained are not necessarily lived healthily.