Global Burden of Disease and Risk Factors

Washington (DC): The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / The World Bank; 2006.


Strategic health planning, the cornerstone of initiatives to facilitate the attainment of health goals in populations around the world, requires an understanding of the comparative burden of diseases and injuries, their corresponding risk factors, and the likely effects of proposed interventions. Critical to an effective assessment of risks and outcomes is a framework to integrate, validate, analyze, compare and disseminate available information to policy makers.

The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) framework, the principal instrument to do so, has been widely adopted since its publication in 1990 as the preferred method for health accounting and as the standard to guide the setting of health research priorities. Features of this framework include the development of methods for assessing the reliability of data and estimating missing data for ensuring epidemiological consistency among the various estimates available for a disease, and the use of a common metric to summarize the disease burden from diagnostic categories of the International Classification of Diseases and the major risk factors that cause those health outcomes.

Publication types

  • Review

Grant support

This volume was funded in part by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and is a product of the staff of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/The World Bank, the World Health Organization, and the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health. The findings, interpretations, and conclusions expressed in this volume do not necessarily reflect the views of the executive directors of The World Bank or the governments they represent, the World Health Organization, or the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health.