Documenting the Global Burden of Cardiovascular Disease: A Major Achievement but Still Work in Progress
The publication of the 1990 Global Burden of Disease (GBD) was a seminal moment for international health.1 In a world characterized by what has been termed a "scandal of ignorance",2 where most peoples' existence was never recorded, the authors undertook the heroic task of estimating not only how many people were dying and from what conditions but also how many were living with disability. By combining these measures to create the Disability Adjusted Life Year (DALY), they changed the global health discourse forever. The task was enormous. They had to include all countries, including many that had attracted virtually no attention from health researchers and which lacked vital registration systems. They scoured the world for data, extracting information from dusty archives and analyzed surveys that had been forgotten.
- Received February 18, 2014.
- Accepted February 19, 2014.