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  1. Shearer FM, Longbottom J, Browne AJ, Pigott DM, Brady OJ, Kraemer MUG, et al.
    Lancet Glob Health, 2018 03;6(3):e270-e278.
    PMID: 29398634 DOI: 10.1016/S2214-109X(18)30024-X
    BACKGROUND: Yellow fever cases are under-reported and the exact distribution of the disease is unknown. An effective vaccine is available but more information is needed about which populations within risk zones should be targeted to implement interventions. Substantial outbreaks of yellow fever in Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Brazil, coupled with the global expansion of the range of its main urban vector, Aedes aegypti, suggest that yellow fever has the propensity to spread further internationally. The aim of this study was to estimate the disease's contemporary distribution and potential for spread into new areas to help inform optimal control and prevention strategies.

    METHODS: We assembled 1155 geographical records of yellow fever virus infection in people from 1970 to 2016. We used a Poisson point process boosted regression tree model that explicitly incorporated environmental and biological explanatory covariates, vaccination coverage, and spatial variability in disease reporting rates to predict the relative risk of apparent yellow fever virus infection at a 5 × 5 km resolution across all risk zones (47 countries across the Americas and Africa). We also used the fitted model to predict the receptivity of areas outside at-risk zones to the introduction or reintroduction of yellow fever transmission. By use of previously published estimates of annual national case numbers, we used the model to map subnational variation in incidence of yellow fever across at-risk countries and to estimate the number of cases averted by vaccination worldwide.

    FINDINGS: Substantial international and subnational spatial variation exists in relative risk and incidence of yellow fever as well as varied success of vaccination in reducing incidence in several high-risk regions, including Brazil, Cameroon, and Togo. Areas with the highest predicted average annual case numbers include large parts of Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and South Sudan, where vaccination coverage in 2016 was estimated to be substantially less than the recommended threshold to prevent outbreaks. Overall, we estimated that vaccination coverage levels achieved by 2016 avert between 94 336 and 118 500 cases of yellow fever annually within risk zones, on the basis of conservative and optimistic vaccination scenarios. The areas outside at-risk regions with predicted high receptivity to yellow fever transmission (eg, parts of Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand) were less extensive than the distribution of the main urban vector, A aegypti, with low receptivity to yellow fever transmission in southern China, where A aegypti is known to occur.

    INTERPRETATION: Our results provide the evidence base for targeting vaccination campaigns within risk zones, as well as emphasising their high effectiveness. Our study highlights areas where public health authorities should be most vigilant for potential spread or importation events.

    FUNDING: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

  2. Stanaway JD, Flaxman AD, Naghavi M, Fitzmaurice C, Vos T, Abubakar I, et al.
    Lancet, 2016 Sep 10;388(10049):1081-1088.
    PMID: 27394647 DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(16)30579-7
    BACKGROUND: With recent improvements in vaccines and treatments against viral hepatitis, an improved understanding of the burden of viral hepatitis is needed to inform global intervention strategies. We used data from the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Study to estimate morbidity and mortality for acute viral hepatitis, and for cirrhosis and liver cancer caused by viral hepatitis, by age, sex, and country from 1990 to 2013.

    METHODS: We estimated mortality using natural history models for acute hepatitis infections and GBD's cause-of-death ensemble model for cirrhosis and liver cancer. We used meta-regression to estimate total cirrhosis and total liver cancer prevalence, as well as the proportion of cirrhosis and liver cancer attributable to each cause. We then estimated cause-specific prevalence as the product of the total prevalence and the proportion attributable to a specific cause. Disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) were calculated as the sum of years of life lost (YLLs) and years lived with disability (YLDs).

    FINDINGS: Between 1990 and 2013, global viral hepatitis deaths increased from 0·89 million (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 0·86-0·94) to 1·45 million (1·38-1·54); YLLs from 31·0 million (29·6-32·6) to 41·6 million (39·1-44·7); YLDs from 0·65 million (0·45-0·89) to 0·87 million (0·61-1·18); and DALYs from 31·7 million (30·2-33·3) to 42·5 million (39·9-45·6). In 2013, viral hepatitis was the seventh (95% UI seventh to eighth) leading cause of death worldwide, compared with tenth (tenth to 12th) in 1990.

    INTERPRETATION: Viral hepatitis is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide. Unlike most communicable diseases, the absolute burden and relative rank of viral hepatitis increased between 1990 and 2013. The enormous health loss attributable to viral hepatitis, and the availability of effective vaccines and treatments, suggests an important opportunity to improve public health.

    FUNDING: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

  3. Global Burden of Disease Pediatrics Collaboration, Kyu HH, Pinho C, Wagner JA, Brown JC, Bertozzi-Villa A, et al.
    JAMA Pediatr, 2016 Mar;170(3):267-87.
    PMID: 26810619 DOI: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2015.4276
    IMPORTANCE: The literature focuses on mortality among children younger than 5 years. Comparable information on nonfatal health outcomes among these children and the fatal and nonfatal burden of diseases and injuries among older children and adolescents is scarce.

    OBJECTIVE: To determine levels and trends in the fatal and nonfatal burden of diseases and injuries among younger children (aged <5 years), older children (aged 5-9 years), and adolescents (aged 10-19 years) between 1990 and 2013 in 188 countries from the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2013 study.

    EVIDENCE REVIEW: Data from vital registration, verbal autopsy studies, maternal and child death surveillance, and other sources covering 14,244 site-years (ie, years of cause of death data by geography) from 1980 through 2013 were used to estimate cause-specific mortality. Data from 35,620 epidemiological sources were used to estimate the prevalence of the diseases and sequelae in the GBD 2013 study. Cause-specific mortality for most causes was estimated using the Cause of Death Ensemble Model strategy. For some infectious diseases (eg, HIV infection/AIDS, measles, hepatitis B) where the disease process is complex or the cause of death data were insufficient or unavailable, we used natural history models. For most nonfatal health outcomes, DisMod-MR 2.0, a Bayesian metaregression tool, was used to meta-analyze the epidemiological data to generate prevalence estimates.

    FINDINGS: Of the 7.7 (95% uncertainty interval [UI], 7.4-8.1) million deaths among children and adolescents globally in 2013, 6.28 million occurred among younger children, 0.48 million among older children, and 0.97 million among adolescents. In 2013, the leading causes of death were lower respiratory tract infections among younger children (905.059 deaths; 95% UI, 810,304-998,125), diarrheal diseases among older children (38,325 deaths; 95% UI, 30,365-47,678), and road injuries among adolescents (115,186 deaths; 95% UI, 105,185-124,870). Iron deficiency anemia was the leading cause of years lived with disability among children and adolescents, affecting 619 (95% UI, 618-621) million in 2013. Large between-country variations exist in mortality from leading causes among children and adolescents. Countries with rapid declines in all-cause mortality between 1990 and 2013 also experienced large declines in most leading causes of death, whereas countries with the slowest declines had stagnant or increasing trends in the leading causes of death. In 2013, Nigeria had a 12% global share of deaths from lower respiratory tract infections and a 38% global share of deaths from malaria. India had 33% of the world's deaths from neonatal encephalopathy. Half of the world's diarrheal deaths among children and adolescents occurred in just 5 countries: India, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pakistan, Nigeria, and Ethiopia.

    CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Understanding the levels and trends of the leading causes of death and disability among children and adolescents is critical to guide investment and inform policies. Monitoring these trends over time is also key to understanding where interventions are having an impact. Proven interventions exist to prevent or treat the leading causes of unnecessary death and disability among children and adolescents. The findings presented here show that these are underused and give guidance to policy makers in countries where more attention is needed.

  4. Global Burden of Disease Child and Adolescent Health Collaboration, Kassebaum N, Kyu HH, Zoeckler L, Olsen HE, Thomas K, et al.
    JAMA Pediatr, 2017 06 01;171(6):573-592.
    PMID: 28384795 DOI: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2017.0250
    Importance: Comprehensive and timely monitoring of disease burden in all age groups, including children and adolescents, is essential for improving population health.

    Objective: To quantify and describe levels and trends of mortality and nonfatal health outcomes among children and adolescents from 1990 to 2015 to provide a framework for policy discussion.

    Evidence Review: Cause-specific mortality and nonfatal health outcomes were analyzed for 195 countries and territories by age group, sex, and year from 1990 to 2015 using standardized approaches for data processing and statistical modeling, with subsequent analysis of the findings to describe levels and trends across geography and time among children and adolescents 19 years or younger. A composite indicator of income, education, and fertility was developed (Socio-demographic Index [SDI]) for each geographic unit and year, which evaluates the historical association between SDI and health loss.

    Findings: Global child and adolescent mortality decreased from 14.18 million (95% uncertainty interval [UI], 14.09 million to 14.28 million) deaths in 1990 to 7.26 million (95% UI, 7.14 million to 7.39 million) deaths in 2015, but progress has been unevenly distributed. Countries with a lower SDI had a larger proportion of mortality burden (75%) in 2015 than was the case in 1990 (61%). Most deaths in 2015 occurred in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Global trends were driven by reductions in mortality owing to infectious, nutritional, and neonatal disorders, which in the aggregate led to a relative increase in the importance of noncommunicable diseases and injuries in explaining global disease burden. The absolute burden of disability in children and adolescents increased 4.3% (95% UI, 3.1%-5.6%) from 1990 to 2015, with much of the increase owing to population growth and improved survival for children and adolescents to older ages. Other than infectious conditions, many top causes of disability are associated with long-term sequelae of conditions present at birth (eg, neonatal disorders, congenital birth defects, and hemoglobinopathies) and complications of a variety of infections and nutritional deficiencies. Anemia, developmental intellectual disability, hearing loss, epilepsy, and vision loss are important contributors to childhood disability that can arise from multiple causes. Maternal and reproductive health remains a key cause of disease burden in adolescent females, especially in lower-SDI countries. In low-SDI countries, mortality is the primary driver of health loss for children and adolescents, whereas disability predominates in higher-SDI locations; the specific pattern of epidemiological transition varies across diseases and injuries.

    Conclusions and Relevance: Consistent international attention and investment have led to sustained improvements in causes of health loss among children and adolescents in many countries, although progress has been uneven. The persistence of infectious diseases in some countries, coupled with ongoing epidemiologic transition to injuries and noncommunicable diseases, require all countries to carefully evaluate and implement appropriate strategies to maximize the health of their children and adolescents and for the international community to carefully consider which elements of child and adolescent health should be monitored.

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