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[Perspectives] The genesis of the Global Burden of Disease study

In 1997 The Lancet published “Mortality by cause for eight regions of the world: Global Burden of Disease Study”. This Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study was the first in a series of four articles that ushered in a new era in descriptive epidemiology, and launched the ascendancy of the GBD in the then nascent field of global health. The four landmark papers gave the GBD study and its authors, Christopher Murray and Alan Lopez, scientific credibility and exposure in the scientific community.