Recent Publications



Research-Supported Intervention and Discretion among Frontline Workers Implementing Home Visitation Services
   Research on Social Work Practice (2017)
    Willging, CE ; Trott, E ; Fettes, D; Gunderson, L ; Green, A; Hurlburt M; Aarons G
Objective: We examine how frontline workers and supervisors delivering a research-supported intervention (RSI) to reduce child neglect negotiated system-related challenges, the pragmatics of RSI implementation, and their professional identities and relationships with clients. Methods: We conducted semi-structured interviews, small group discussions, and focus groups with frontline workers and supervisors in one large county over two time periods. We used iterative coding to analyze qualitative data. Results: Frontline workers navigated several aspects of RSI implementation and sustainment: (1) contract requirements and information dissemination, (2) fidelity, (3) competing demands and crises, (4) structure versus creativity, and (5) relationships with clients. Conclusions: Workers dynamically negotiated multiple system- and provider-level (or outer- and inner-contextual) demands influencing RSI provision for clients with complex service needs. Results affirm the need to attend to the unintended consequences of implementing new contract, reimbursement, and other system or organizational processes and to address the “committed work” supporting RSI delivery.


Drinking, Alcohol Use Disorder, and Treatment Access and Utilization Among U.S. Racial/Ethnic Groups
   Alcoholism, Clinical And Experimental Research (2017)
    Vaeth, Patrice A. C. ; Wang-Schweig, Meme ; Caetano, Raul
Data from approximately 140 articles and reports published since 2000 on drinking, alcohol use disorder (AUD), correlates of drinking and AUD, and treatment needs, access, and utilization were critically examined and summarized. Epidemiological evidence demonstrates alcohol-related disparities across U.S. racial/ethnic groups. American Indians/Alaska Natives generally drink more and are disproportionately affected by alcohol problems, having some of the highest rates for AUD. In contrast, Asian Americans are less affected. Differences across Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics are more nuanced. The diversity in drinking and problem rates that is observed across groups also exists within groups, particularly among Hispanics, Asian Americans, and American Indians/Alaska Natives. Research findings also suggest that acculturation to the United States and nativity affect drinking. Recent studies on ethnic drinking cultures uncover the possible influence that native countries' cultural norms around consumption still have on immigrants' alcohol use. The reasons for racial/ethnic disparities in drinking and AUD are complex and are associated with historically rooted patterns of racial discrimination and persistent socioeconomic disadvantage. This disadvantage is present at both individual and environmental levels. Finally, these data indicate that admission to alcohol treatment is also complex and is dependent on the presence and severity of alcohol problems but also on a variety of other factors. These include individuals' sociodemographic characteristics, the availability of appropriate services, factors that may trigger coercion into treatment by family, friends, employers, and the legal system, and the overall organization of the treatment system. More research is needed to understand facilitators and barriers to treatment to improve access to services and support. Additional directions for future research are discussed.


Enduring enrollments in West Virginia’s Medicaid programme due to severe injury
   Injury Prevention (2017)
   Smith, Michael; Miller, Ted R ; Zaloshnja, Eduard
Objective: To assess frequency, duration and costs of Medicaid conversions that occur when severe injury causes patients to enrol in Medicaid to pay their hospital bills. Once enrolled, Medicaid pays all their medical bills, not simply their injury bill. Data sources 2000–2005 West Virginia Medicaid claims data and 2000–2006 eligibility data for new enrollees under the age of 65. To model national costs, published Medicaid conversion rates across 14 states for 2003 and 2008 Healthcare Cost and Utilization Program Nationwide Inpatient Sample data. Methods: We identified enrollees who had hospital inpatient claims for injury within 30 days of enrolment, then tabulated eligibility duration and payments by year and in aggregate. For those with open-ended eligibility, we assumed future annual claims payments would equal average payments in eligibility years 5–6. We multiplied the mean payments data adjusted to national prices with the estimated conversions nationally. Results: Overall, 5.4% of hospitalised patients with injury in West Virginia converted to Medicaid, with 17% of conversions on Medicaid 7?years post injury. In 2010 dollars, Medicaid payments averaged $93?900 per conversion for non-injury medical care before the age of 65. Conversions added an estimated $87 in payments for non-injury care to governments’ medical payments per medically treated injury in the USA. They added 14% to governments’ gunshot and assault medical payments, 7.5% to its road crash medical payments and 6% to its total injury medical payments. Conclusions: These findings increase the rationale for governments to partner in injury prevention efforts.


The impact of retail beverage service training and social host laws on adolescents’ DUI rates in San Diego County, California
   Traffic Injury Prevention (2017)
    Scherer, Michael ; Romano, Eduardo ; Caldwell, Susan; Taylor, Eileen
Introduction: Driving under the influence (DUI) citations are still a serious concern among drivers aged 16-20 years and have been shown to be related to increased risk of fatal and non-fatal crashes. A battery of laws and policies has been enacted to address this concern. While numerous studies have evaluated these policies, there is still a need for comprehensive policy evaluations that take into account a variety of contextual factors. Previous effort by this research team examined the impact of 20 minimum legal drinking age (MLDA)-21 laws in the state of California, as they impacted alcohol-related crash rates among drivers under 21 years of age while at the same time accounting for alcohol and gas taxes, unemployment rates, sex distribution among drivers, and sobriety checkpoints. The current research seeks to expand this evaluation to the county level (San Diego, County). More specifically, we evaluate the impact of measures subject to County control such as Retail Beverage Service (RBS) laws and Social Host (SH) laws, as well as media coverage, city employment, alcohol outlet density, number of sworn officers, alcohol consumption, and taxation policies to determine the most effective point of intervention for communities seeking to reduce underage DUI citations. Methods: Annual DUI citation data (2000 to 2013), RBS and SH policies, and city-wide demographic, economic, and environmental information were collected and applied to each of the 20 cities in San Diego County, California. A structural equation model was fit to estimate the relative contribution of the variables of interest to DUI citation rates. Results: Alcohol consumption and alcohol outlet density both demonstrated a significant increase in DUI rates, while RBS laws, SH laws, alcohol tax rates, media clusters, gas tax rates and unemployment rates demonstrated significant decreases in DUI rates. Conclusions: At the county level, although RBS, SH laws, and media efforts were found to contribute to a significant reduction in DUI rates, the largest significant contributors to reducing DUI rates were alcohol and gas taxation rates. Policy makers interested in reducing DUI rates among teenagers, should examine these variables within their specific communities and consider conducting community-specific research to determine the best way to do so. Future efforts should be made to develop models that represent specific communities who are interested in reducing DUI rates among drivers aged 16-20 years.


Intercorrelation of alcohol and other drug use disorders among a national sample of drivers
   Journal of Psychoactive Drugs (2017)
    Scherer, M. ; Canham, S.; Voas, R.B. ; Furr-Holden, C.D.
This study examined the relationship between alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, and painkiller use disorders in a sample of drivers. We studied nighttime drivers aged 16 to 87 (n = 4,277) from the 2007 National Roadside Survey who reported substance use behaviors and provided breath tests for alcohol. Logistic regression analyses assessed the relationships between (1) substance (i.e., alcohol/marijuana/cocaine/pain killer) use disorders; (2) demographic characteristics; and (3) BAC levels. Overall, 13.2% of participants met criteria for marijuana use disorder, 7% met criteria for cocaine use disorder, and 15.4% met criteria for extra-medicinal painkiller use disorder. When self-report data were analyzed, three reciprocal associations emerged: (1) marijuana use disorders and alcohol use disorders were correlated; (2) marijuana use disorders and cocaine use disorders were correlated; and (3) cocaine use disorders and painkiller use disorders were correlated. BAC data revealed that marijuana and cocaine use disorders were both associated with positive BAC levels, but only cocaine use disorders were associated with BAC levels over the legal limit. Results suggest significant poly-substance use disorders in a sample of nighttime drivers, with variations by demographic characteristics. The individual and public health consequences of multiple substance use disorders among drivers are significant.


Alcohol Storylines in Television Episodes: The Preventive Effect of Countering Epilogues
   Journal of Health Communication (2017)
   Russell, Cristel Antonia; Russell, Dale Wesley; Grube, Joel W. ; McQuarrie, Edward
This experimental study assessed whether alcohol television storylines impact youth drinking attitudes and intentions and whether corrective epilogues can potentially moderate this impact. Television episodes were professionally produced to depict heavy drinking leading to either positive or negative consequences. The pro- and anti-alcohol episodes were shown alone or with an epilogue where a main character discussed the deleterious effects of excessive drinking. Attitudes toward drinkers and drinking intentions were measured subsequently, along with reactions to the episode and demographic data, among participants aged 14–17 using an online study. Exposure to the pro-alcohol episode was related to more positive attitudes toward drinkers. Including an epilogue after a pro-alcohol episode was related to more negative viewers’ attitudes toward drinkers and lower drinking intentions compared to a pro-alcohol episode with no epilogue. By contrast, including an epilogue after an anti-alcohol episode was unrelated to attitudes toward drinkers or drinking intentions. Viewing a single television episode with a pro-alcohol message may lead to more positive attitudes toward drinkers. The finding that a brief epilogue may reduce the impact of the pro-alcohol storyline suggests easily implemented preventive strategies to counter the adverse impact of substance use portrayals in entertainment programming.


Cannabis and crash responsibility while driving below the alcohol per se legal limit
   Accident Analysis & Prevention (2017)
    Romano, Eduardo ; Voas, Robert B ; Camp, Bayliss
There is a growing interest in how extensively the use of marijuana by drivers relates to crash involvement. While cognitive, lab-based studies are consistent in showing that the use of cannabis impairs driving tasks, epidemiological, field-based studies have been inconclusive regarding whether cannabis use causes an increased risk of accidents. There is ample evidence that the presence of cannabis among drivers with a BAC=0.08g/dL highly increases the likelihood of a motor vehicle crash. Less clear, however, is the contribution of cannabis to crash risk when drivers have consumed very little or no alcohol. This effort addresses this gap in knowledge. We took advantage of a unique database that merged fatal crashes in the California Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS) and the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), which allows for a precise identification of crash responsibility. To account for recent increase in lab testing, we restricted our sample to cover only the years 1993-2009. A total of 4294 drivers were included in the analyses. Descriptive analyses and logistic regressions were run to model the contribution of alcohol and drugs to the likelihood of being responsible in a fatal crash. We found evidence that compared with drivers negative for alcohol and cannabis, the presence of cannabis elevates crash responsibility in fatal crashes among drivers at zero BACs (OR=1.89) and with 0<BAC<0.05g/dL (OR=3.42), suggesting that emphasis on curbing impaired driving should not be solely focused on heavy-drinking drivers. Data limitations however caution about the generalizability of study findings. Special efforts to understand the effect of cannabis on fatal crashes, in particular in the absence of alcohol, are needed.


Riding with impaired drivers among recent Latino immigrants in southern Florida
   Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health (2017)
    Romano, E. ; de la Rosa, M.; Sanchez, M.; Babino, R.
In a previous effort we showed that compared with immigrants who are permanent residents, undocumented immigrants are more likely to binge drink, but less likely to drink while impaired (DWI) partly due to their limited amount of driving. This report examines a related risk: riding with an impaired driver (RWI). Data came from an ongoing longitudinal sample of Latino immigrants to Miami-Dade County, FL. Descriptive analyses and regression techniques were applied. While DWI rates among Latino immigrants is heavily limited by their access to a car, RWI rates were not restricted by driving limitations, nor related to participants' legal immigration status (LIS). RWI rates were linked only to heavy drinking. Because it is not affected by driving limitations, RWI for these Latino immigrants is perhaps a more immediate risk than DWI. Addressing RWI among Latino immigrants should be a priority for traffic safety to Miami/Dade country.


Forty years of state alcohol and pregnancy policies in the USA: Best practices for public health or efforts to restrict women’s reproductive rights?
   Alcohol and Alcoholism (2017)
   Roberts, Sarah; Thomas, Sue ; Treffers, Ryan ; Drabble, Laurie
Short Summary: The number of states with alcohol and pregnancy policies has increased since 1970 (1 in 1974 and 43 in 2013). Alcohol and pregnancy policies are becoming increasingly punitive. These punitive policies are associated with efforts to restrict women’s reproductive rights rather than policies that effectively curb alcohol-related public health harms. Aims: Alcohol consumption during pregnancy remains a public health problem despite >40 years of attention. Little is known about how state policies have evolved and whether policies represent public health goals or efforts to restrict women’s reproductive rights. Methods: Our data set includes US state policies from 1970 through 2013 obtained through original legal research and from the National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’s (NIAAA)’s Alcohol Policy Information System. Policies were classified as punitive to women or supportive of them. The association between numbers of punitive policies and supportive policies in 2013 with a measure of state restrictions on reproductive rights and Alcohol Policy Effectiveness Scores (APS) was estimated using a Pearson’s correlation. Results: The number of states with alcohol and pregnancy policies has increased from 1 in 1974 to 43 in 2013. Through the 1980s, state policy environments were either punitive or supportive. In the 1990s, mixed punitive and supportive policy environments began to be the norm, with punitive policies added to supportive ones. No association was found between the number of supportive policies in 2013 and a measure of reproductive rights policies or the APS, nor was there an association between the number of punitive policies and the APS. The number of punitive policies was positively associated, however, with restrictions on reproductive rights. Conclusion: Punitive alcohol and pregnancy policies are associated with efforts to restrict women’s reproductive rights rather than effective efforts to curb public health harms due to alcohol use in the general population. Future research should explore the effects of alcohol and pregnancy policies.


The significance of benefit perceptions for the ethics of HIV research involving adolescents in Kenya
   Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics (2017)
   Rennie, S; Groves, AK; Hallfors, DD ; Iritani, BJ ; Odongo, FS; Luseno, WK
Assessment of benefits is traditionally regarded as crucial to the ethical evaluation of research involving human participants. We conducted focus group discussions (FGDs) with health and other professionals engaged with adolescents, caregivers/parents, and adolescents in Siaya County, Kenya, to solicit opinions about appropriate ways of conducting HIV research with adolescents. Our data revealed that many focus group participants have a profoundly positive conception of participation in health research, including studies conferring seemingly few benefits. In this article, we identify and analyze five different but interrelated types of benefits as perceived by Kenyan adolescent and adult stakeholders in HIV research, and discuss their ethical significance. Our findings suggest that future empirical and conceptual research should concentrate on factors that may trigger researcher obligations to improve benefit perceptions among research participants.


Lifetime cost of abusive head trauma at ages 0–4, USA
   Prevention Science (2017)
    Miller, Ted R. ; Steinbeigle, Ryan; Lawrence, Bruce A. ; Peterson, Cora; Florence, Curtis; Barr, Marilyn; Barr, Ronald G.
This paper aims to estimate lifetime costs resulting from abusive head trauma (AHT) in the USA and the break-even effectiveness for prevention. A mathematical model incorporated data from Vital Statistics, the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Kids’ Inpatient Database, and previous studies. Unit costs were derived from published sources. From society’s perspective, discounted lifetime cost of an AHT averages $5.7 million (95% CI $3.2–9.2 million) for a death. It averages $2.6 million (95% CI $1.0–2.9 million) for a surviving AHT victim including $224,500 for medical care and related direct costs (2010 USD). The estimated 4824 incident AHT cases in 2010 had an estimated lifetime cost of $13.5 billion (95% CI $5.5–16.2 billion) including $257 million for medical care, $552 million for special education, $322 million for child protective services/criminal justice, $2.0 billion for lost work, and $10.3 billion for lost quality of life. Government sources paid an estimated $1.3 billion. Out-of-pocket benefits of existing prevention programming would exceed its costs if it prevents 2% of cases. When a child survives AHT, providers and caregivers can anticipate a lifetime of potentially costly and life-threatening care needs. Better effectiveness estimates are needed for both broad prevention messaging and intensive prevention targeting high-risk caregivers.


Heterogeneous costs of alcohol and drug problems across cities and counties in California
   Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research (2017)
    Miller, Ted R. ; Nygaard, Peter ; Gaidus, Andrew ; Grube, Joel W. ; Ponicki, William R. ; Lawrence, Bruce A. ; Gruenewald, Paul J.
Background: Estimates of economic and social costs related to alcohol and other drug (AOD) use and abuse are usually made at state and national levels. Ecological analyses demonstrate, however, that substantial variations exist in the incidence and prevalence of AOD use and problems including impaired driving, violence, and chronic disease between smaller geopolitical units like counties and cities. This study examines the ranges of these costs across counties and cities in California. Methods: We used estimates of the incidence and prevalence of AOD use, abuse, and related problems to calculate costs in 2010 dollars for all 58 counties and an ecological sample of 50 cities with populations between 50,000 and 500,000 persons in California. The estimates were built from archival and public-use survey data collected at state, county, and city levels over the years from 2009 to 2010. Results: Costs related to alcohol use and related problems exceeded those related to illegal drugs across all counties and most cities in the study. Substantial heterogeneities in costs were observed between cities within counties. Conclusions: AOD costs are heterogeneously distributed across counties and cities, reflecting the degree to which different populations are engaged in use and abuse across the state. These findings provide a strong argument for the distribution of treatment and prevention resources proportional to need.


Non-economic damages due to physical and sexual assault: Estimates from civil jury awards
   Forensic Science and Criminology (2017)
    Miller, Ted ; Cohen, Mark; Hendrie, Delia
This paper presents a detailed study of jury awards for compensatory damages to victims of crime. Such awards typically result when victims sue third parties who are responsible for some form of negligence such as inadequate security or alcohol over-service. We obtained nationwide data on jury awards to crime victims and examined the relationship between physical losses, medical costs, offender and victim characteristics, and the ultimate compensatory jury award. Despite the large variability in jury awards, we were able to explain 45%-50% of the variation in the natural log of jury awards for physical assault. The awards systematically vary with the severity of physical injuries sustained by the victim. Considerably more variation is found in the case of sexual assault. We use our regressions to construct estimates of noneconomic damages – the pain, suffering and reduced quality of life endured by the average victim of violent crime in the U.S.


Pathways from witnessing parental violence during childhood to involvement in intimate partner violence in adult life: The roles of depression and substance use
   Drug and Alcohol Review (2017)
   Madruga, Clarice S.; Viana, Maria Carmen; Abdalla, Renata Rigacci; Caetano, Raul ; Laranjeira, Ronaldo
Introduction and Aims: The aims of this study were to determine the prevalence of witnessing parental violence (WPV) during childhood and of current intimate partner violence (IPV) victimisation and aggression in a Brazilian sample, in order to verify pathways between WPV and involvement in IPV as an adult. Design and Methods: The mediating roles of substance use and depression were investigated. Data came from the Second Brazilian National Alcohol and Drugs Survey, a multi-cluster probabilistic household survey, which gathered information on the use of psychoactive substances, current depressive disorder, history of childhood direct and indirect exposure to domestic violence and IPV in a nationally representative sample. A subsample of 2120 individuals aged 14 years or older was analysed. Weighted prevalence rates, adjusted odds ratio and conditional path models were performed. Results: Being a victim of IPV was reported by 6% of the sample. Thus being, 4.1% reported being IPV perpetrators; these rates were 16.6% and 7.3%, respectively, among those who reported WPV (13%). WPV was associated with being a victim of IPV in adult life, but not with becoming a perpetrator, regardless of being a victim of physical violence during childhood. There was a direct effect of WPV on IPV mediated by depressive symptoms. Alcohol and cocaine consumption and age of drinking initiation mediated only when combined with depressive symptoms. Discussion and Conclusions: Intergenerational transmission models of IPV through exposure during childhood can help to explain the high rates of domestic violence in Brazil. Our findings provide evidence to implement targeted prevention strategies where they are needed most: the victims of premature adverse experiences.


Adolescents, alcohol, and marijuana: Context characteristics and problems associated with simultaneous use
   Drug And Alcohol Dependence (2017)
    Lipperman-Kreda, Sharon ; Gruenewald, Paul J. ; Grube, Joel W. ; Bersamin, Melina
We investigated contexts of simultaneous use of alcohol and marijuana and the impact of simultaneous use on problems among adolescents. Ecological momentary assessment data were obtained over two weekends from 150 adolescents in California (47% female, M age=16.36years), using smartphone surveys administered early and late in the evening and again the following morning. We assessed whether, in what context, and with whom adolescents drank alcohol and used other substances over 3 evening hours. We assessed problems they experienced each evening on the following morning. Results showed that greater adult supervision in every context was associated with a 55% lower risk of simultaneous use (RRR=0.45, p=.05). Contexts with no other underage drinkers were associated with 99% lower risk of simultaneous use (RRR=0.01, p=.005). Each occasion of simultaneous use was related to 110% increase in the number of problems (IRR=2.10, p=.005), with 83%, 221% and 311% greater odds of violence (OR=1.83, p=.05), driving under the influence or riding with a drunk driver (OR=3.21, p=.05), or being drunk (OR=4.11, p=.005). Additional analyses showed that these problems may be attributed largely to the alcohol consumed in each context. Results demonstrate that it is essential to consider situational and social characteristics of substance use contexts to better understand adolescent simultaneous use of alcohol and drugs and problems.


Economic Recession, Alcohol, and Suicide Rates: Comparative Effects of Poverty, Foreclosure, and Job Loss
   American Journal Of Preventive Medicine (2017)
   Kerr, William C.; Kaplan, Mark S.; Huguet, Nathalie; Caetano, Raul ; Giesbrecht, Norman; McFarland, Bentson H.
Introduction: Suicide rates and the proportion of alcohol-involved suicides rose during the 2008-2009 recession. Associations between county-level poverty, foreclosures, and unemployment and suicide rates and proportion of alcohol-involved suicides were investigated. Methods: In 2015, National Violent Death Reporting System data from 16 states in 2005-2011 were utilized to calculate suicide rates and a measure of alcohol involvement in suicides at the county level. Panel models with year and state fixed effects included county-level measures of unemployment, foreclosure, and poverty rates. Results: Poverty rates were strongly associated with suicide rates for both genders and all age groups, were positively associated with alcohol involvement in suicides for men aged 45-64 years, and negatively associated for men aged 20-44 years. Foreclosure rates were negatively associated with suicide rates for women and those aged =65 years but positively related for those aged 45-64 years. Unemployment rate effects on suicide rates were mediated by poverty rates in all groups. Conclusions: Population risk of suicide was most clearly associated with county-level poverty rates, indicating that programs addressing area poverty should be targeted for reducing suicide risk. Poverty rates were also associated with increased alcohol involvement for men aged 45-64 years, indicating a role for alcohol in suicide for this working-aged group. However, negative associations between economic indicators and alcohol involvement were found for four groups, suggesting that non-economic factors or more general economic effects not captured by these indicators may have played a larger role in alcohol-related suicide increases.


Prevalence of self-reported prescription drug use in a national sample of U.S. drivers
   Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs (2017)
    Kelley-Baker, Tara ; Waehrer, Geetha ; Pollini, Robin A.
Objective: Drug-involved driving has become an increasing concern. Although the focus has been on illegal drugs, there is evidence that prescribed medications can impair driving ability. The purpose of this study was to determine the self-reported prevalence of prescription drug use, including medical and nonmedical use, among a nationally representative sample of drivers and to report related driver characteristics. Method: As part of the 2013–2014 National Roadside Survey, drivers from 60 sites were randomly recruited and asked to complete a survey on prescription drug use. Results: Almost 20% of drivers reported using a prescription drug within the past 2 days, with the most common drug class being sedatives (8.0%), followed by antidepressants (7.7%), narcotics (7.5%), and stimulants (3.9%). Drivers who reported prescription drug use were significantly more likely to be female, older, non-Hispanic White, and report disability. Three of four drivers who reported medication use (78.2%) said the drug was prescribed for their use; the odds of using without a prescription were significantly higher for males, Black/African American, and Hispanic drivers, and lower for older drivers. Among those with a prescription, taking more than prescribed was most common for narcotics (6.8%), followed by sedatives (4.8%), stimulants (3.8%), and antidepressants (1.5%). Conclusions: These findings help to identify drivers using potentially impairing prescription drugs, both medically and nonmedically, and may inform the targeting of interventions to reduce impaired driving related to medications.


The National Violent Death Reporting System: Use of the Restricted Access Database and Recommendations for the System's Improvement
   American Journal Of Preventive Medicine (2017)
   Kaplan, Mark S.; Caetano, Raul ; Giesbrecht, Norman; Huguet, Nathalie; Kerr, William C.; McFarland, Bentson H.; Nolte, Kurt B.


The unintended effects of providing risk information about drinking and driving
   Health Psychology (2017)
    Johnson, Mark B. ; Kopetz, Catalina E.
Objective: Alcohol-impaired driving remains a serious public health concern despite the fact that drinking and driving risks are widely disseminated and well understood by the public. This research examines the motivational conditions under which providing risk information can exacerbate rather than decrease potential drinking drivers' willingness to drive while impaired. Method: In a hypothetical drinking and driving scenario, 3 studies investigated participants' self-reported likelihood of drinking and driving as a function of (a) accessibility of information regarding risk associated with drinking and driving, (b) motivation to drive, and (c) need for cognitive closure (NFC). Results: Across the 3 studies, participants self-reported a higher likelihood of driving when exposed to high-risk information (vs. low-risk information) if they were high in NFC. Risk information did decrease self-reported likelihood of driving among low-NFC participants (Studies 1-3). Furthermore, this effect was exacerbated when the relevant motivation (to get home conveniently) was high (Study 3). Conclusions: These findings have important implications for impaired-driving prevention efforts. They suggest that at least under some circumstances, risk information can have unintended negative effects on drinking and driving decisions. The results are consistent with the motivated cognition literature, which suggests that people process and use information in a manner that supports their most accessible and important motivation despite potentially negative consequences.


Environmental approaches to prevention: Communities and contexts
   Principles of Addiction Medicine (2017)
    Gruenewald, P.J. ; Grube, J.W. ; Saltz, R. ; Paschall, M.J.


A pilot randomized trial of Motivational Interviewing compared to Psycho-Education for reducing and preventing underage drinking in American Indian adolescents
   Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment (2017)
   Gilder, David A.; Geisler, Jennifer R.; Luna, Juan A.; Calac, Daniel; Monti, Peter M.; Spillane, Nichea S.; Lee, Juliet P. ; Moore, Roland S. ; Ehlers, Cindy L.
Underage drinking is an important public health issue for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) adolescents, as it is for U.S. teens of all ethnicities. One of the demonstrated risk factors for the development of alcohol use disorders in AI/AN is early age of initiation of drinking. To address this issue a randomized trial to assess the efficacy of Motivational Interviewing (MI) compared to Psycho-Education (PE) to reduce and prevent underage drinking in AI/AN youth was developed and implemented. Sixty-nine youth received MI or PE and 87% were assessed at follow-up. For teens who were already drinking, participating in the intervention (MI or PE) was associated, at follow-up, with lower quantity×frequency (q×f) of drinking (p=0.011), fewer maximum drinks per drinking occasion (p=0.004), and fewer problem behaviors (p=0.009). The MI intervention resulted in male drinkers reporting a lower q×f of drinking (p=0.048) and female drinkers reporting less depression (p=0.011). In teens who had not started drinking prior to the intervention, 17% had initiated drinking at follow-up. As a group they reported increased quantity×frequency of drinking (p=0.008) and maximum drinks (p=0.047), but no change in problem behaviors. These results suggest that intervening against underage drinking using either MI or PE in AI/AN youth can result in reduced drinking, prevention of initiation of drinking, and other positive behavioral outcomes. Brief interventions that enhance motivation to change as well as Psycho-Education may provide a successful approach to reducing the potential morbidity of underage drinking in this high-risk group.


Smoking prevalence and attributable disease burden in 195 countries and territories, 1990-2015: A systematic analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015
   The Lancet (2017)
   GBD Tobacco Collaborators,,; Miller, T.
Background: The scale-up of tobacco control, especially after the adoption of the Framework Convention for Tobacco Control, is a major public health success story. Nonetheless, smoking remains a leading risk for early death and disability worldwide, and therefore continues to require sustained political commitment. The Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) offers a robust platform through which global, regional, and national progress toward achieving smoking-related targets can be assessed. Methods: We synthesised 2818 data sources with spatiotemporal Gaussian process regression and produced estimates of daily smoking prevalence by sex, age group, and year for 195 countries and territories from 1990 to 2015. We analysed 38 risk-outcome pairs to generate estimates of smoking-attributable mortality and disease burden, as measured by disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs). We then performed a cohort analysis of smoking prevalence by birth-year cohort to better understand temporal age patterns in smoking. We also did a decomposition analysis, in which we parsed out changes in all-cause smoking-attributable DALYs due to changes in population growth, population ageing, smoking prevalence, and risk-deleted DALY rates. Finally, we explored results by level of development using the Socio-demographic Index (SDI). Findings: Worldwide, the age-standardised prevalence of daily smoking was 25.0% (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 24.2-25.7) for men and 5.4% (5.1-5.7) for women, representing 28.4% (25.8-31.1) and 34.4% (29.4-38.6) reductions, respectively, since 1990. A greater percentage of countries and territories achieved significant annualised rates of decline in smoking prevalence from 1990 to 2005 than in between 2005 and 2015; however, only four countries had significant annualised increases in smoking prevalence between 2005 and 2015 (Congo [Brazzaville] and Azerbaijan for men and Kuwait and Timor-Leste for women). In 2015, 11.5% of global deaths (6.4 million [95% UI 5.7-7.0 million]) were attributable to smoking worldwide, of which 52.2% took place in four countries (China, India, the USA, and Russia). Smoking was ranked among the five leading risk factors by DALYs in 109 countries and territories in 2015, rising from 88 geographies in 1990. In terms of birth cohorts, male smoking prevalence followed similar age patterns across levels of SDI, whereas much more heterogeneity was found in age patterns for female smokers by level of development. While smoking prevalence and risk-deleted DALY rates mostly decreased by sex and SDI quintile, population growth, population ageing, or a combination of both, drove rises in overall smoking-attributable DALYs in low-SDI to middle-SDI geographies between 2005 and 2015. Interpretation: The pace of progress in reducing smoking prevalence has been heterogeneous across geographies, development status, and sex, and as highlighted by more recent trends, maintaining past rates of decline should not be taken for granted, especially in women and in low-SDI to middle-SDI countries. Beyond the effect of the tobacco industry and societal mores, a crucial challenge facing tobacco control initiatives is that demographic forces are poised to heighten smoking's global toll, unless progress in preventing initiation and promoting cessation can be substantially accelerated. Greater success in tobacco control is possible but requires effective, comprehensive, and adequately implemented and enforced policies, which might in turn require global and national levels of political commitment beyond what has been achieved during the past 25 years.


Measuring progress and projecting attainment on the basis of past trends of the health-related Sustainable Development Goals in 188 countries: An analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016
   The Lancet (2017)
   GBD Sustainable Development Goals Collaborators,,; Miller, T.
Background: The UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are grounded in the global ambition of “leaving no one behind”. Understanding today's gains and gaps for the health-related SDGs is essential for decision makers as they aim to improve the health of populations. As part of the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2016 (GBD 2016), we measured 37 of the 50 health-related SDG indicators over the period 1990–2016 for 188 countries, and then on the basis of these past trends, we projected indicators to 2030. Methods: We used standardised GBD 2016 methods to measure 37 health-related indicators from 1990 to 2016, an increase of four indicators since GBD 2015. We substantially revised the universal health coverage (UHC) measure, which focuses on coverage of essential health services, to also represent personal health-care access and quality for several non-communicable diseases. We transformed each indicator on a scale of 0–100, with 0 as the 2·5th percentile estimated between 1990 and 2030, and 100 as the 97·5th percentile during that time. An index representing all 37 health-related SDG indicators was constructed by taking the geometric mean of scaled indicators by target. On the basis of past trends, we produced projections of indicator values, using a weighted average of the indicator and country-specific annualised rates of change from 1990 to 2016 with weights for each annual rate of change based on out-of-sample validity. 24 of the currently measured health-related SDG indicators have defined SDG targets, against which we assessed attainment. Findings: Globally, the median health-related SDG index was 56·7 (IQR 31·9–66·8) in 2016 and country-level performance markedly varied, with Singapore (86·8, 95% uncertainty interval 84·6–88·9), Iceland (86·0, 84·1–87·6), and Sweden (85·6, 81·8–87·8) having the highest levels in 2016 and Afghanistan (10·9, 9·6–11·9), the Central African Republic (11·0, 8·8–13·8), and Somalia (11·3, 9·5–13·1) recording the lowest. Between 2000 and 2016, notable improvements in the UHC index were achieved by several countries, including Cambodia, Rwanda, Equatorial Guinea, Laos, Turkey, and China; however, a number of countries, such as Lesotho and the Central African Republic, but also high-income countries, such as the USA, showed minimal gains. Based on projections of past trends, the median number of SDG targets attained in 2030 was five (IQR 2–8) of the 24 defined targets currently measured. Globally, projected target attainment considerably varied by SDG indicator, ranging from more than 60% of countries projected to reach targets for under-5 mortality, neonatal mortality, maternal mortality ratio, and malaria, to less than 5% of countries projected to achieve targets linked to 11 indicator targets, including those for childhood overweight, tuberculosis, and road injury mortality. For several of the health-related SDGs, meeting defined targets hinges upon substantially faster progress than what most countries have achieved in the past. Interpretation: GBD 2016 provides an updated and expanded evidence base on where the world currently stands in terms of the health-related SDGs. Our improved measure of UHC offers a basis to monitor the expansion of health services necessary to meet the SDGs. Based on past rates of progress, many places are facing challenges in meeting defined health-related SDG targets, particularly among countries that are the worst off. In view of the early stages of SDG implementation, however, opportunity remains to take actions to accelerate progress, as shown by the catalytic effects of adopting the Millennium Development Goals after 2000. With the SDGs' broader, bolder development agenda, multisectoral commitments and investments are vital to make the health-related SDGs within reach of all populations.


Global, regional, and national comparative risk assessment of 84 behavioural, environmental and occupational, and metabolic risks or clusters of risks, 1990-2016: A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016
   The Lancet (2017)
   GBD Risk Factors Collaborators,,; Miller, T.
Background: The Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2016 (GBD 2016) provides a comprehensive assessment of risk factor exposure and attributable burden of disease. By providing estimates over a long time series, this study can monitor risk exposure trends critical to health surveillance and inform policy debates on the importance of addressing risks in context. Methods: We used the comparative risk assessment framework developed for previous iterations of GBD to estimate levels and trends in exposure, attributable deaths, and attributable disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs), by age group, sex, year, and location for 84 behavioural, environmental and occupational, and metabolic risks or clusters of risks from 1990 to 2016. This study included 481 risk-outcome pairs that met the GBD study criteria for convincing or probable evidence of causation. We extracted relative risk (RR) and exposure estimates from 22?717 randomised controlled trials, cohorts, pooled cohorts, household surveys, census data, satellite data, and other sources, according to the GBD 2016 source counting methods. Using the counterfactual scenario of theoretical minimum risk exposure level (TMREL), we estimated the portion of deaths and DALYs that could be attributed to a given risk. Finally, we explored four drivers of trends in attributable burden: population growth, population ageing, trends in risk exposure, and all other factors combined. Findings: Since 1990, exposure increased significantly for 30 risks, did not change significantly for four risks, and decreased significantly for 31 risks. Among risks that are leading causes of burden of disease, child growth failure and household air pollution showed the most significant declines, while metabolic risks, such as body-mass index and high fasting plasma glucose, showed significant increases. In 2016, at Level 3 of the hierarchy, the three leading risk factors in terms of attributable DALYs at the global level for men were smoking (124·1 million DALYs [95% UI 111·2 million to 137·0 million]), high systolic blood pressure (122·2 million DALYs [110·3 million to 133·3 million], and low birthweight and short gestation (83·0 million DALYs [78·3 million to 87·7 million]), and for women, were high systolic blood pressure (89·9 million DALYs [80·9 million to 98·2 million]), high body-mass index (64·8 million DALYs [44·4 million to 87·6 million]), and high fasting plasma glucose (63·8 million DALYs [53·2 million to 76·3 million]). In 2016 in 113 countries, the leading risk factor in terms of attributable DALYs was a metabolic risk factor. Smoking remained among the leading five risk factors for DALYs for 109 countries, while low birthweight and short gestation was the leading risk factor for DALYs in 38 countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. In terms of important drivers of change in trends of burden attributable to risk factors, between 2006 and 2016 exposure to risks explains an 9·3% (6·9–11·6) decline in deaths and a 10·8% (8·3–13·1) decrease in DALYs at the global level, while population ageing accounts for 14·9% (12·7–17·5) of deaths and 6·2% (3·9–8·7) of DALYs, and population growth for 12·4% (10·1–14·9) of deaths and 12·4% (10·1–14·9) of DALYs. The largest contribution of trends in risk exposure to disease burden is seen between ages 1 year and 4 years, where a decline of 27·3% (24·9–29·7) of the change in DALYs between 2006 and 2016 can be attributed to declines in exposure to risks. Interpretation: Increasingly detailed understanding of the trends in risk exposure and the RRs for each risk-outcome pair provide insights into both the magnitude of health loss attributable to risks and how modification of risk exposure has contributed to health trends. Metabolic risks warrant particular policy attention, due to their large contribution to global disease burden, increasing trends, and variable patterns across countries at the same level of development. GBD 2016 findings show that, while it has huge potential to improve health, risk modification has played a relatively small part in the past decade.


Global, regional, and national under-5 mortality, adult mortality, age-specific mortality, and life expectancy, 1970-2016: A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016
   The Lancet (2017)
   GBD Mortality Collaborators,,; Miller, T.
Background: Detailed assessments of mortality patterns, particularly age-specific mortality, represent a crucial input that enables health systems to target interventions to specific populations. Understanding how all-cause mortality has changed with respect to development status can identify exemplars for best practice. To accomplish this, the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2016 (GBD 2016) estimated age-specific and sex-specific all-cause mortality between 1970 and 2016 for 195 countries and territories and at the subnational level for the five countries with a population greater than 200 million in 2016. Methods: We have evaluated how well civil registration systems captured deaths using a set of demographic methods called death distribution methods for adults and from consideration of survey and census data for children younger than 5 years. We generated an overall assessment of completeness of registration of deaths by dividing registered deaths in each location-year by our estimate of all-age deaths generated from our overall estimation process. For 163 locations, including subnational units in countries with a population greater than 200 million with complete vital registration (VR) systems, our estimates were largely driven by the observed data, with corrections for small fluctuations in numbers and estimation for recent years where there were lags in data reporting (lags were variable by location, generally between 1 year and 6 years). For other locations, we took advantage of different data sources available to measure under-5 mortality rates (U5MR) using complete birth histories, summary birth histories, and incomplete VR with adjustments; we measured adult mortality rate (the probability of death in individuals aged 15–60 years) using adjusted incomplete VR, sibling histories, and household death recall. We used the U5MR and adult mortality rate, together with crude death rate due to HIV in the GBD model life table system, to estimate age-specific and sex-specific death rates for each location-year. Using various international databases, we identified fatal discontinuities, which we defined as increases in the death rate of more than one death per million, resulting from conflict and terrorism, natural disasters, major transport or technological accidents, and a subset of epidemic infectious diseases; these were added to estimates in the relevant years. In 47 countries with an identified peak adult prevalence for HIV/AIDS of more than 0·5% and where VR systems were less than 65% complete, we informed our estimates of age-sex-specific mortality using the Estimation and Projection Package (EPP)-Spectrum model fitted to national HIV/AIDS prevalence surveys and antenatal clinic serosurveillance systems. We estimated stillbirths, early neonatal, late neonatal, and childhood mortality using both survey and VR data in spatiotemporal Gaussian process regression models. We estimated abridged life tables for all location-years using age-specific death rates. We grouped locations into development quintiles based on the Socio-demographic Index (SDI) and analysed mortality trends by quintile. Using spline regression, we estimated the expected mortality rate for each age-sex group as a function of SDI. We identified countries with higher life expectancy than expected by comparing observed life expectancy to anticipated life expectancy on the basis of development status alone. Findings: Completeness in the registration of deaths increased from 28% in 1970 to a peak of 45% in 2013; completeness was lower after 2013 because of lags in reporting. Total deaths in children younger than 5 years decreased from 1970 to 2016, and slower decreases occurred at ages 5–24 years. By contrast, numbers of adult deaths increased in each 5-year age bracket above the age of 25 years. The distribution of annualised rates of change in age-specific mortality rate differed over the period 2000 to 2016 compared with earlier decades: increasing annualised rates of change were less frequent, although rising annualised rates of change still occurred in some locations, particularly for adolescent and younger adult age groups. Rates of stillbirths and under-5 mortality both decreased globally from 1970. Evidence for global convergence of death rates was mixed; although the absolute difference between age-standardised death rates narrowed between countries at the lowest and highest levels of SDI, the ratio of these death rates—a measure of relative inequality—increased slightly. There was a strong shift between 1970 and 2016 toward higher life expectancy, most noticeably at higher levels of SDI. Among countries with populations greater than 1 million in 2016, life expectancy at birth was highest for women in Japan, at 86·9 years (95% UI 86·7–87·2), and for men in Singapore, at 81·3 years (78·8–83·7) in 2016. Male life expectancy was generally lower than female life expectancy between 1970 and 2016, and the gap between male and female life expectancy increased with progression to higher levels of SDI. Some countries with exceptional health performance in 1990 in terms of the difference in observed to expected life expectancy at birth had slower progress on the same measure in 2016. Interpretation: Globally, mortality rates have decreased across all age groups over the past five decades, with the largest improvements occurring among children younger than 5 years. However, at the national level, considerable heterogeneity remains in terms of both level and rate of changes in age-specific mortality; increases in mortality for certain age groups occurred in some locations. We found evidence that the absolute gap between countries in age-specific death rates has declined, although the relative gap for some age-sex groups increased. Countries that now lead in terms of having higher observed life expectancy than that expected on the basis of development alone, or locations that have either increased this advantage or rapidly decreased the deficit from expected levels, could provide insight into the means to accelerate progress in nations where progress has stalled.


Healthcare access and quality index based on mortality from causes amenable to personal health care in 195 countries and territories, 1990-2015: A novel analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015
   The Lancet (2017)
   GBD Healthcare Access and Quality Collaborators,,; Miller, T.
Background: National levels of personal health-care access and quality can be approximated by measuring mortality rates from causes that should not be fatal in the presence of effective medical care (ie, amenable mortality). Previous analyses of mortality amenable to health care only focused on high-income countries and faced several methodological challenges. In the present analysis, we use the highly standardised cause of death and risk factor estimates generated through the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) to improve and expand the quantification of personal health-care access and quality for 195 countries and territories from 1990 to 2015. Methods: We mapped the most widely used list of causes amenable to personal health care developed by Nolte and McKee to 32 GBD causes. We accounted for variations in cause of death certification and misclassifications through the extensive data standardisation processes and redistribution algorithms developed for GBD. To isolate the effects of personal health-care access and quality, we risk-standardised cause-specific mortality rates for each geography-year by removing the joint effects of local environmental and behavioural risks, and adding back the global levels of risk exposure as estimated for GBD 2015. We employed principal component analysis to create a single, interpretable summary measure–the Healthcare Quality and Access (HAQ) Index–on a scale of 0 to 100. The HAQ Index showed strong convergence validity as compared with other health-system indicators, including health expenditure per capita (r=0·88), an index of 11 universal health coverage interventions (r=0·83), and human resources for health per 1000 (r=0·77). We used free disposal hull analysis with bootstrapping to produce a frontier based on the relationship between the HAQ Index and the Socio-demographic Index (SDI), a measure of overall development consisting of income per capita, average years of education, and total fertility rates. This frontier allowed us to better quantify the maximum levels of personal health-care access and quality achieved across the development spectrum, and pinpoint geographies where gaps between observed and potential levels have narrowed or widened over time. Findings: Between 1990 and 2015, nearly all countries and territories saw their HAQ Index values improve; nonetheless, the difference between the highest and lowest observed HAQ Index was larger in 2015 than in 1990, ranging from 28·6 to 94·6. Of 195 geographies, 167 had statistically significant increases in HAQ Index levels since 1990, with South Korea, Turkey, Peru, China, and the Maldives recording among the largest gains by 2015. Performance on the HAQ Index and individual causes showed distinct patterns by region and level of development, yet substantial heterogeneities emerged for several causes, including cancers in highest-SDI countries; chronic kidney disease, diabetes, diarrhoeal diseases, and lower respiratory infections among middle-SDI countries; and measles and tetanus among lowest-SDI countries. While the global HAQ Index average rose from 40·7 (95% uncertainty interval, 39·0–42·8) in 1990 to 53·7 (52·2–55·4) in 2015, far less progress occurred in narrowing the gap between observed HAQ Index values and maximum levels achieved; at the global level, the difference between the observed and frontier HAQ Index only decreased from 21·2 in 1990 to 20·1 in 2015. If every country and territory had achieved the highest observed HAQ Index by their corresponding level of SDI, the global average would have been 73·8 in 2015. Several countries, particularly in eastern and western sub-Saharan Africa, reached HAQ Index values similar to or beyond their development levels, whereas others, namely in southern sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and south Asia, lagged behind what geographies of similar development attained between 1990 and 2015. Interpretation: This novel extension of the GBD Study shows the untapped potential for personal health-care access and quality improvement across the development spectrum. Amid substantive advances in personal health care at the national level, heterogeneous patterns for individual causes in given countries or territories suggest that few places have consistently achieved optimal health-care access and quality across health-system functions and therapeutic areas. This is especially evident in middle-SDI countries, many of which have recently undergone or are currently experiencing epidemiological transitions. The HAQ Index, if paired with other measures of health-system characteristics such as intervention coverage, could provide a robust avenue for tracking progress on universal health coverage and identifying local priorities for strengthening personal health-care quality and access throughout the world.


Future and potential spending on health 2015-40: Development assistance for health, and government, prepaid private, and out-of-pocket health spending in 184 countries
   The Lancet (2017)
   GBD Health Financing Collaborator Network,,; Miller, T.
Background: The amount of resources, particularly prepaid resources, available for health can affect access to health care and health outcomes. Although health spending tends to increase with economic development, tremendous variation exists among health financing systems. Estimates of future spending can be beneficial for policy makers and planners, and can identify financing gaps. In this study, we estimate future gross domestic product (GDP), all-sector government spending, and health spending disaggregated by source, and we compare expected future spending to potential future spending. Methods: We extracted GDP, government spending in 184 countries from 1980–2015, and health spend data from 1995–2014. We used a series of ensemble models to estimate future GDP, all-sector government spending, development assistance for health, and government, out-of-pocket, and prepaid private health spending through 2040. We used frontier analyses to identify patterns exhibited by the countries that dedicate the most funding to health, and used these frontiers to estimate potential health spending for each low-income or middle-income country. All estimates are inflation and purchasing power adjusted. Findings: We estimated that global spending on health will increase from US$9·21 trillion in 2014 to $24·24 trillion (uncertainty interval [UI] 20·47–29·72) in 2040. We expect per capita health spending to increase fastest in upper-middle-income countries, at 5·3% (UI 4·1–6·8) per year. This growth is driven by continued growth in GDP, government spending, and government health spending. Lower-middle income countries are expected to grow at 4·2% (3·8–4·9). High-income countries are expected to grow at 2·1% (UI 1·8–2·4) and low-income countries are expected to grow at 1·8% (1·0–2·8). Despite this growth, health spending per capita in low-income countries is expected to remain low, at $154 (UI 133–181) per capita in 2030 and $195 (157–258) per capita in 2040. Increases in national health spending to reach the level of the countries who spend the most on health, relative to their level of economic development, would mean $321 (157–258) per capita was available for health in 2040 in low-income countries. Interpretation: Health spending is associated with economic development but past trends and relationships suggest that spending will remain variable, and low in some low-resource settings. Policy change could lead to increased health spending, although for the poorest countries external support might remain essential.


Evolution and patterns of global health financing 1995-2014: Development assistance for health, and government, prepaid private, and out-of-pocket health spending in 184 countries
   The Lancet (2017)
   GBD Health Financing Collaborator Network,,; Miller, T.
Background: An adequate amount of prepaid resources for health is important to ensure access to health services and for the pursuit of universal health coverage. Previous studies on global health financing have described the relationship between economic development and health financing. In this study, we further explore global health financing trends and examine how the sources of funds used, types of services purchased, and development assistance for health disbursed change with economic development. We also identify countries that deviate from the trends. Methods: We estimated national health spending by type of care and by source, including development assistance for health, based on a diverse set of data including programme reports, budget data, national estimates, and 964 National Health Accounts. These data represent health spending for 184 countries from 1995 through 2014. We converted these data into a common inflation-adjusted and purchasing power-adjusted currency, and used non-linear regression methods to model the relationship between health financing, time, and economic development. Findings: Between 1995 and 2014, economic development was positively associated with total health spending and a shift away from a reliance on development assistance and out-of-pocket (OOP) towards government spending. The largest absolute increase in spending was in high-income countries, which increased to purchasing power-adjusted $5221 per capita based on an annual growth rate of 3·0%. The largest health spending growth rates were in upper-middle-income (5·9) and lower-middle-income groups (5·0), which both increased spending at more than 5% per year, and spent $914 and $267 per capita in 2014, respectively. Spending in low-income countries grew nearly as fast, at 4·6%, and health spending increased from $51 to $120 per capita. In 2014, 59·2% of all health spending was financed by the government, although in low-income and lower-middle-income countries, 29·1% and 58·0% of spending was OOP spending and 35·7% and 3·0% of spending was development assistance. Recent growth in development assistance for health has been tepid; between 2010 and 2016, it grew annually at 1·8%, and reached US$37·6 billion in 2016. Nonetheless, there is a great deal of variation revolving around these averages. 29 countries spend at least 50% more than expected per capita, based on their level of economic development alone, whereas 11 countries spend less than 50% their expected amount. Interpretation Health spending remains disparate, with low-income and lower-middle-income countries increasing spending in absolute terms the least, and relying heavily on OOP spending and development assistance. Moreover, tremendous variation shows that neither time nor economic development guarantee adequate prepaid health resources, which are vital for the pursuit of universal health coverage.


Burden of vision loss in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, 1990–2015: Findings from the Global Burden of Disease 2015 Study
   International Journal of Public Health (2017)
   GBD Eastern Mediterranean Region Vision Loss Colla; Miller, T.
Objectives: To report the estimated trend in prevalence and years lived with disability (YLDs) due to vision loss (VL) in the Eastern Mediterranean region (EMR) from 1990 to 2015. Methods: The estimated trends in age-standardized prevalence and the YLDs rate due to VL in 22 EMR countries were extracted from the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2015 study. The association of Socio-demographic Index (SDI) with changes in prevalence and YLDs of VL was evaluated using a multilevel mixed model. Results: The age-standardized prevalence of VL in the EMR was 18.2% in 1990 and 15.5% in 2015. The total age-standardized YLDs rate attributed to all-cause VL in EMR was 536.9 per 100,000 population in 1990 and 482.3 per 100,000 population in 2015. For each 0.1 unit increase in SDI, the age-standardized prevalence and YLDs rate of VL showed a reduction of 1.5% (p < 0.001) and 23.9 per 100,000 population (p < 0.001), respectively. Conclusions: The burden of VL is high in the EMR; however, it shows a descending trend over the past 25 years. EMR countries need to establish comprehensive eye care programs in their health care systems.


Transport injuries and deaths in the Eastern Mediterranean Region: Findings from the Global Burden of Disease 2015 Study
   International Journal of Public Health (2017)
   GBD Eastern Mediterranean Region Transportation In; Miller, T.
Objectives: Transport injuries (TI) are ranked as one of the leading causes of death, disability, and property loss worldwide. This paper provides an overview of the burden of TI in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) by age and sex from 1990 to 2015. Methods: Transport injuries mortality in the EMR was estimated using the Global Burden of Disease mortality database, with corrections for ill-defined causes of death, using the cause of death ensemble modeling tool. Morbidity estimation was based on inpatient and outpatient datasets, 26 cause-of-injury and 47 nature-of-injury categories. Results: In 2015, 152,855 (95% uncertainty interval: 137,900-168,100) people died from TI in the EMR countries. Between 1990 and 2015, the years of life lost (YLL) rate per 100,000 due to TI decreased by 15.5%, while the years lived with disability (YLD) rate decreased by 10%, and the age-standardized disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) rate decreased by 16%. Conclusions: Although the burden of TI mortality and morbidity decreased over the last two decades, there is still a considerable burden that needs to be addressed by increasing awareness, enforcing laws, and improving road conditions.


Neonatal, infant, and under-5 mortality and morbidity burden in the Eastern Mediterranean Region: Findings from the Global Burden of Disease 2015 Study
   International Journal of Public Health (2017)
   GBD Eastern Mediterranean Region Neonatal, Infant,; Miller, T.
Objectives: Although substantial reductions in under-5 mortality have been observed during the past 35 years, progress in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) has been uneven. This paper provides an overview of child mortality and morbidity in the EMR based on the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study. Methods: We used GBD 2015 study results to explore under-5 mortality and morbidity in EMR countries. Results: In 2015, 755,844 (95% uncertainty interval (UI) 712,064–801,565) children under 5 died in the EMR. In the early neonatal category, deaths in the EMR decreased by 22.4%, compared to 42.4% globally. The rate of years of life lost per 100,000 population under 5 decreased 54.38% from 177,537 (173,812–181,463) in 1990 to 80,985 (76,308–85,876) in 2015; the rate of years lived with disability decreased by 0.57% in the EMR compared to 9.97% globally. Conclusions: Our findings call for accelerated action to decrease child morbidity and mortality in the EMR. Governments and organizations should coordinate efforts to address this burden. Political commitment is needed to ensure that child health receives the resources needed to end preventable deaths.


The burden of mental disorders in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, 1990–2015: Findings from the Global Burden of Disease 2015 Study
   International Journal of Public Health (2017)
   GBD Eastern Mediterranean Region Mental Health Col; Miller, T.
Objectives: Mental disorders are among the leading causes of nonfatal burden of disease globally. Methods: We used the global burden of diseases, injuries, and risk factors study 2015 to examine the burden of mental disorders in the Eastern Mediterranean region (EMR). We defined mental disorders according to criteria proposed in the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders IV and the 10th International Classification of Diseases. Results: Mental disorders contributed to 4.7% (95% uncertainty interval (UI) 3.7–5.6%) of total disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs), ranking as the ninth leading cause of disease burden. Depressive disorders and anxiety disorders were the third and ninth leading causes of nonfatal burden, respectively. Almost all countries in the EMR had higher age-standardized mental disorder DALYs rates compared to the global level, and in half of the EMR countries, observed mental disorder rates exceeded the expected values. Conclusions: The burden of mental disorders in the EMR is higher than global levels, particularly for women. To properly address this burden, EMR governments should implement nationwide quality epidemiological surveillance of mental disorders and provide adequate prevention and treatment services.


Maternal mortality and morbidity burden in the Eastern Mediterranean Region: Findings from the Global Burden of Disease 2015 Study
   International Journal of Public Health (2017)
   GBD Eastern Mediterranean Region Maternal Mortalit; Miller, T.
Objectives: Assessing the burden of maternal mortality is important for tracking progress and identifying public health gaps. This paper provides an overview of the burden of maternal mortality in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) by underlying cause and age from 1990 to 2015. Methods: We used the results of the Global Burden of Disease 2015 study to explore maternal mortality in the EMR countries. Results: The maternal mortality ratio in the EMR decreased 16.3% from 283 (241–328) maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in 1990 to 237 (188–293) in 2015. Maternal mortality ratio was strongly correlated with socio-demographic status, where the lowest-income countries contributed the most to the burden of maternal mortality in the region. Conclusion: Progress in reducing maternal mortality in the EMR has accelerated in the past 15 years, but the burden remains high. Coordinated and rigorous efforts are needed to make sure that adequate and timely services and interventions are available for women at each stage of reproductive life.


Intentional injuries in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, 1990–2015: Findings from the Global Burden of Disease 2015 Study
   International Journal of Public Health (2017)
   GBD Eastern Mediterranean Region Intentional Injur; Miller, T.