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Neurological conditions are now the number 1 cause of ill health worldwide

Still Waters

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According to a major new analysis, neurological conditions have now overtaken cardiovascular disease as the leading cause of ill health and disability globally.

Using data from the 2021 edition of the Global Burden of Disease, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD), researchers examined the impact of 37 different neurological conditions – including stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and meningitis – on ill health, disability, and premature death across the world.

This was measured in what’s known as disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) aka how many years of healthy life were lost as a result of the neurological conditions. The researchers found that between 1990 and 2021, the global number of DALYs caused by neurological conditions had increased by 18 percent, from around 375 million to 443 million.


The study is published in The Lancet Neurology.

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