April 29 Apr 29
4:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Monday Mon

Seminar Series: Howard Hu

The Global Burden of Disease-Pollution and Health Initiative

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The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study, funded mainly by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and coordinated by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, has emerged as the largest systematic, data-driven effort to quantify the magnitude of health impacts from all major diseases and injuries by age, sex, and country (and for populous countries, sub-nationally). GBD estimates have increasingly influenced global health research, policy, education, and action, such as the initiation of free short-term depression therapy in Australia, restructuring of health insurance coverage to align with major causes of disease in Mexico, and construction of new roads and retraining of police to address the high burden of traffic injuries in Iran.  

In 2017, the Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health used GBD data to estimate that the combined pollution of air and water by toxic chemicals was responsible each year for 9 million premature deaths-- more the 3 times the total deaths caused by AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria -- and 268 million disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) lost, with the greatest burden in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).  While large, these estimates fail to capture the full burden, however, since they were restricted to selected air pollutants, water, lead, radon and selected occupational exposures. In response, Dr. Hu and colleagues launched the Global Burden of Disease-Pollution & Health Initiative (GBD-PHI) at a 2018 workshop supported by NIH/NIEHS.  The Initiative aims to improve and expand estimates of the global burden of disease attributable to a more complete range of environmental risk factors, including climate and climate change.  It also aims to elucidate economic consequences and the connections between sources of pollution and the policies and drivers that allow them to pollute, with the goal of arming countries and communities with the evidence to appropriately prioritize and target pollution control investments that promote their long-term stability, growth, and prosperity as they pursue the Sustainable Development Goals.  

In this presentation, Dr. Hu will discuss some of the ideas and challenges associated with this initiative, with the parallel aim of stimulating discussion of opportunities that might be of particular interest to Stanford scientists
  Among the topics to be covered are examples of GBD pollutants, both existing (air pollution, lead) and proposed (other neurotoxicants, endocrine disruptors, climate change) in terms of the challenges associated with estimating global exposures and grading the evidence for causality. 


Li Ka Shing Learning and Knowledge Center, Room 120
291 Campus Drive
Stanford, CA 94305

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Li Ka Shing Learning and Knowledge Center, Room 120

291 Campus Drive
Stanford CA, 94305
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