Global Burden of Disease: Mental Disorders and Illicit Drug Use Expert Group

Date Commenced:
07/2007
Expected Date of Completion:
Ongoing
Project Supporters:

National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Fellowship

Drug Type:
Global burden of disease
Project Members
Project Collaborators: External

Harvey Whiteford (Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research, University of Queensland) 

Amanda Baxter (Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research, University of Queensland) 

Fiona Charlson (Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research, University of Queensland) 

Alize Ferrari (Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research, University of Queensland) 

Holly Erskine (Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research, University of Queensland) 

Roman Scheurer (Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research, University of Queensland) 

Christopher Murray (Institute for health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, Seattle)

Theo Vos (Institute for health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, Seattle)

Mohsen Naghavi (Institute for health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, Seattle)

Haidong Wang (Institute for health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, Seattle)

Alan Lopez (Institute for health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, Seattle)

Project Main Description

The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) project provides comprehensive and comparable data on mortality and loss of health due to diseases, injuries and risk factors for all regions of the world. The overall burden of disease is calculated using the disability-adjusted life year (DALY), a measure that combines 'years of life lost due to premature mortality' with 'years of life lost due to time lived in less than full health'.

The original GBD study was commissioned by the World Bank in 1991 and provided burden of disease estimates for 1990. The GBD project was later extended to provide estimates for the years 2005 and 2010. Work on estimates for 2013 ('GBD 2013') has commenced.

NDARC's role in the GBD study has been to calculate the levels of disease, injury and death associated with illicit drug use and dependence. This has been undertaken in collaboration with the Univeristy of Queensland under the organising structure of the 'Global Burden of Disease: Mental Disorders and Illicit Drug Use Expert Group'. 

Topline findings for GBD 2010 were released on 15 December, 2012 in a triple issue of the leading journal The Lancet. The latest figures on the burden of disease attributable to mental disorders and ililcit drug use were published in The Lancet 9 November 2013 edition. Please see the 'output' section below for a list of all publications and their URLs. 

The current coordinating centre of the GBD study is the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. More information about the GBD study can be found on their website.

Rationale

From the World Health Organisation:

A consistent and comparative description of the burden of diseases and injuries and the risk factors that cause them is an important input to health decision-making and planning processes. Information that is available on mortality and health in populations in all regions of the world is fragmentary and sometimes inconsistent. Thus, a framework for integrating, validating, analysing and disseminating such information is needed to assess the comparative importance of diseases, injuries and risk factors in causing premature death, loss of health and disability in different populations. Countries can combine this type of evidence along with information about policies and their costs to decide how to set their health agenda.

Aims

The GBD study has two major objectives:

  • To produce estimates of the burden of diseases and injuries, and to assess risk factors, for the years 1990, 2005, 2010 and now 2013
  • To develop a series of tools for use by specific audiences, to standardise and broaden burden of disease research and analysis, and to produce publications tailored to policymakers and a non-research audience

 

As part of the first objective, the Mental Disorders and Illicit Drug Use Expert Group aims to produce estimates of the burden of disease associated with mental health disorders and illicit drug use and dependence.

Design and Method

The project has examined more than 190 diseases and injuries, and more than 45 risk factors, in 21 regions of the world.

Systematic reviews of the prevalence, incidence and duration of mental health disorders and associated mortality and disabling sequelae have been conducted by the Mental Disorders and Illicit Drug Use Expert Group. Additionally, exposure and effects of risk factors have been assessed. Expert Groups are required to communicate their figures at defined intervals with other Expert Groups and with the GBD Core Team to ensure consistency across conditions. Findings are subjected to external peer review.

NDARC has collected data on the following drug groups: heroin and other opioids, amphetamine type stimulants, cocaine and cannabis.

NDARC acknowledges those who have contributed data and advice to the project.

Progress/Update

The GBD 2010 study is now complete. Papers on mental health and substance use were published in The Lancet in 2013. The coordinating centre for the project, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, has published a protocol and issued a call for experts for GBD 2013 (GBD 2.0). Louisa Degenhardt will be part of the Core Analytic team for GBD 2.0.

Findings

Key findings from GBD 2010 in relation to illicit drug use and dependence include:

  • UK, USA, South Africa, and Australia all had notably high overall burdens of death and illness due to illicit drug use
  • The biggest source of burden of disease was opioid dependence followed by amphetamine dependence and injecting drug use as a risk factor for blood-borne viruses (hepatitis B, C and HIV).
  • Highest levels of opioid dependence were in Australasia and Western Europe. Highest prevalence of cocaine dependence was in North America & Latin America.
  • Disability and illness caused by opioid dependence increased by over 74% between 1990 and 2010.
  • Drug dependence and disease burden were highest in men aged 20 – 29 years.
Output

Peer Reviewed Publications

 
Degenhardt, L., Whiteford, H., & Hall, W. (2014). The global burden of disease projects: What have we learned about illicit drug use and dependence and their contribution to global burden of disease? (Invited commentary). Drug and Alcohol Review, 33(1), 4-12. DOI: 10.1111/dar.12088
 
Degenhardt, L., Baxter, A., Lee, Y.-Y., Hall, W., Sara, G., Flaxman, A., Johns, N., Whiteford, H., & Vos, T., (2014). The global epidemiology and burden of psychostimulant dependence: Findings from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 137: 36-47. 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2013.12.025
 
Ferrari, A., Norman, R., Freedman, G., Baxter, A., Pirkis, J., Harris, M., Page, A., Carnaham, E., Degenhardt, L., Vos, T., Whiteford, H., (in press). The burden attributable to mental and substance use disorders as independent risk factors for suicide: Findings from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. PLoS One.
 
Whiteford, H., Degenhardt, L., Murray, C., Vos, T., & Lopez, A. (in press accepted February 11th 2014). Improving the Mental and Substance Use Estimates in the Global Burden of Disease Study. International Journal of Epidemiology.
 
Baxter, A., Patton, G., Scott, K., Degenhardt, L., & Whiteford, H. (2013). Global epidemiology of mental disorders: what are we missing? PLoS One, 8(6):e65514. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0065514
 
Degenhardt L, Ferrari AJ, Calabria B, Hall WD, Norman RE, et al. (2013) The Global Epidemiology and Contribution of Cannabis Use and Dependence to the Global Burden of Disease: Results from the GBD 2010 Study. PLoS ONE 8(10): e76635. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0076635
 
Degenhardt, L. et al. (2013). Global burden of disease attributable to illicit drug use and dependence: findings from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010, The Lancet, 382(9904): 1564-1574, DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(13)61530-5.
 
Murray, C. J. L., Aboyans, V., Abraham, J. P., Ackerman, H.,…Degenhardt, L. et al. (2013). GBD 2010 country results: a global public good. The Lancet, 381(9871), 965-970. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(13)60283-4
 
Prüss-Ustün, A., Wolf, J., Driscoll, T., Degenhardt, L. , Neira, M., & Garcia Calleja, G. (2013). HIV due to female sex work: regional and global estimates. PLoS One 8(5): e63476. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0063476
 
Whiteford, H., Degenhardt, L. et al. (2013) Global burden of disease attributable to mental and substance use disorders: findings from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010The Lancet, 382(9914): 1575-1586, DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(13)61611-6.
 
Whiteford, H., Ferrari, A., Baxter, A., Charlson, F., & Degenhardt, L., (2013). How did we arrive at burden of disease estimates for mental and illicit drug use disorders? Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 26(4), 376-383.
 
Charlson, F., Steel, Z., Degenhardt, L., Silove, D.,Chien, T., Whiteford, H., (2012). Predicting the impact of the 2011 conflict in Libya on population-level mental health: estimates of PTSD and depression prevalence and mental health service requirements. PLoS One, 7(7), e40593. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0040593
 
Degenhardt, L. & Hall, W. (2012). Extent of illicit drug use, dependence, and their contribution to global burden of disease. The Lancet, 379(9810), 55-70, DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(11)61138-0.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Baxter, A. J., Page, A., & Whiteford, H. A. (2011). Factors Influencing Risk of Premature Mortality in Community Cases of Depression: A Meta-Analytic Review, Epidemiology Research International, vol. 2011, Article ID 832945, 12 pages, doi:10.1155/2011/832945
 
Baxter, A., Whiteford, H., Vos, T. & Norman, R. (2011). Estimation of the burden of disease attributable to mental disorders. Abstract, Global Health Metrics and Evaluation: Controversies, Innovation, Accountability conference. Seattle, USA: Lancet - Conference Abstract, 377, 969 - 970
 
Charlson, F., Stapelberg, N. J. C., Baxter, A., & Whiteford, H. (2011). Should global burden of disease estimates include depression as a risk factor for coronary heart disease? BMC Medicine, 9(1), 47
 
Degenhardt, L., Calabria, B., Bucello, C., Nelson, P., Roberts, A., & Hall, W., Wiessing, L., for the GBD illicit drug use writing group (2011). What data are available on the extent of illicit drug use and dependence globally? Results of four systematic reviews. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 117(2), 85-101.
 
Degenhardt, L., Bucello, C., Mathers, B., Briegleb, C., Ali, H., Hickman, H., & McLaren, J. (2011). Mortality among regular or dependent users of heroin and other opioids: A systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies. Addiction. 106(1): 32-51.
 
Degenhardt, L., Singleton, J., McLaren, J., Calabria, B., Kerr, T., Mehta, S., Kirk, G., & Hall, W. (2011). Mortality among cocaine users: A systematic review of cohort studies. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 113(2): 88-95.
 
Ferrari, A., Baxter, A. & Whiteford, H. (2011). A systematic review of the global distribution and availability of prevalence data for bipolar disorder. Journal of Affective Disorder, 134, 1-13.
 
Nelson, P., Mathers, B., Cowie, B., Hagan, H., DesJarlais, D., Horyniak, D., & Degenhardt, L. (2011). Global epidemiology of hepatitis B and hepatitis C among people who inject drugs: Results of systematic reviews, The Lancet, 378(9791), 571-583.
 
Calabria, B., Degenhardt, L., Briegleb, C., Vos, T., Hall, W., Lynskey, M., Callaghan, B., Rana, U., & McLaren, J. (2010). Systematic reviews of prospective studies investigating "remission" from amphetamine, cannabis, cocaine or opioid dependence. Addictive Behaviors. 35: 741-749.

Degenhardt, L., Bruno, R., & Topp, L. (2010). Is ecstasy a drug of dependence? Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 107(1), 1-10.

Charlson, F., Degenhardt, L., Hall, W., McLaren, J., & Lynskey, M. (2009). A systematic review of research examining benzodiazepine-related mortality. Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety 18(2)93-103.

Degenhardt, L., Whiteford, H., Hall, W., & Vos, T. (2009). Estimating the burden of disease attributable to illicit drug use and mental disorders: What is “Global Burden of Disease 2005” and why does it matter? Addiction. 104(9): 1466-1471.

Degenhardt, L., Hall, W., Lynskey, M., McGrath, J., McLaren, J., Calabria, B., Whiteford, H., & Vos, T. (2009). Should burden of disease estimates include cannabis use as a risk factor for psychosis? PLoS Medicine, 6(9): e1000133. Doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000133.

Hall, W. & Degenhardt, L. (2009). Adverse health effects of non-medical cannabis use (review). The Lancet, 374, 1383-1391.

Singleton, J., Degenhardt, L., Hall, W., & Zabransky, T. (2009). Mortality among amphetamine users: A systematic review of cohort studies (review). Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 105(1), 1-8.
Appendix A: search strings for electronic databases

 

NDARC Technical Reports

Bucello, C., Degenhardt, L., Calabria, B., Nelson, P., Roberts, A., Medina-Mora, M. E., & Compton, W. M. (2010). What do we know about the extent of cocaine use and dependence? Results of a global systematic review. Sydney: National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre Technical Report Number 308.

Calabria, B., Degenhardt, L., Nelson, P., Bucello, C., Roberts, A., Lynskey, M., Hall, W., & McLaren, J. (2010). What do we know about the extent of cannabis use and dependence? Results of a global systematic review. Sydney: National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre Technical Report Number 307.

Degenhardt, L., Calabria, B., Nelson, P., Bucello, C., Roberts, A., Thomas, J., & Hall, W. (2010). What do we know about the global prevalence of illicit meth/amphetamine use and dependence? Results of a global systematic review. Sydney: National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre Technical Report Number Technical Report Number 310.

Nelson, P., McLaren, J., Degenhardt, L., Bucello, C., Calabria, B., Roberts, A., Briegleb, C., Clark, N., & Wiessing, L. (2010). What do we know about the extent of heroin and other opioid use and dependence? Results of a global systematic review. Sydney: National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre Technical Report Number 309.

Calabria, B., Phillips, B., Singleton, J., Mathers, B., Congreve, E., Degenhardt, L. & McLaren, J. (2008). Searching the grey literature to access information on drug and alcohol research. Sydney: National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre Technical Report Number 293.

 

Discussion Papers

Charlson, F., Degenhardt, L., McLaren, J., Hall, W., & Lynskey, M. (2008). Benzodiazepine-related mortality. Global Burden of Disease Mental Disorders and Illicit Drug Use Expert group, Illicit drugs discussion paper No. 1. National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of NSW: Sydney.

Calabria, B., Degenhardt, L., Hall, W., & Lynskey, M. (2008). Cannabis-related mortality. Global Burden of Disease Mental Disorders and Illicit Drug Use Expert group, Illicit drugs discussion paper No. 3. National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of NSW: Sydney.

Singleton, J., Degenhardt, L., Hall, W., & Zabransky, T. (2008). Mortality among users of amphetamine-type stimulants. Global Burden of Disease Mental Disorders and Illicit Drug Use Expert Group, Illicit drugs discussion paper No. 4. National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of NSW: Sydney.

Degenhardt, L., Calabria, B., Hall, W., & Lynskey, M. (2008). Overview of proposed injuries/diseases to be included in the comparative risk assessment for regular cannabis use. Global Burden of Disease Mental Disorders and Illicit Drug Use Expert group, Illicit drugs discussion paper No. 5. National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of NSW: Sydney.

Degenhardt, L. & Hall, W. (2008). Illicit drugs as risk factors: some definitions. Global Burden of Disease Mental Disorders and Illicit Drug Use Expert Group, Illicit drugs discussion paper 8. National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of NSW: Sydney.

Degenhardt, L., Calabria, B., Nelson, P., Bucello, C., Roberts, A., Thomas, J. & Hall, W. (2009). Methodology used in a systematic review of evidence on the prevalence of amphetamine use and dependence. Global Burden of Disease Mental Disorders and Illicit Drug Use Expert group. Illicit drugs discussion paper No. 13. National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of NSW: Sydney.

Calabria, B., Degenhardt, L., Nelson, P., Bucello, C., Lynskey, M., Hall, W., Roberts, A., & McLaren, J. (2009). Methodology used in a systematic review of evidence on the prevalence of cannabis use and dependence. Global Burden of Disease Mental Disorders and Illicit Drug Use Expert group. Illicit drugs discussion paper No. 14. National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of NSW: Sydney.

Bucello, C., Degenhardt, L., Calabria, B., Nelson, P., Roberts, A., Medina-Mora , ME. (2009). Methodology used in a systematic review of evidence on the prevalence of cocaine use and dependence. Global Burden of Disease Mental Disorders and Illicit Drug Use Expert group. Illicit drugs discussion paper No. 15. National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of NSW: Sydney.

Nelson, P., McLaren, J., Degenhardt, L., Bucello, C., Calabria, B., Roberts, A., Briegleb, C., Clark, N., and Wiessing, L. (2009). Methodology used in a systematic review of evidence on the prevalence of heroin/opioid use and dependence. Global Burden of Disease Mental Disorders and Illicit Drug Use Expert group. Illicit drugs discussion paper No. 16. National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of NSW: Sydney.

Calabria, B., Degenhardt, L., Briegleb, C., Vos, T., Hall, W., Lynskey, M., Callaghan, B., Rana, U., & McLaren, J. (2009). "Remission" from illicit drug dependence: Systematic reviews of prospective studies investigating the course of amphetamine, cannabis, cocaine and opioid dependence. Global Burden of Disease Mental Disorders and Illicit Drug Use Expert group. Illicit drugs discussion paper No. 17. National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of NSW: Sydney.
Appendix A: amphetamine search strings

 

Baxter A, Somerville A, Pham A, Ventura A, Scheurer R, Calabria B, McLaren J, Roberts A, Degenhardt L and Whiteford H: for the Mental Disorders and Illicit Drug Use Expert Group (2008). Summary of data collected and decision rules used in making regional and global estimates: Anxiety Disorders. Policy and Economics Group, Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.

Baxter A, Somerville A, Pham A, Ventura A, Scheurer R, Calabria B, McLaren J, Roberts A, Degenhardt L and Whiteford H: for the Mental Disorders and Illicit Drug Use Expert Group (2008). Summary of data collected and decision rules used in making regional and global estimates: Schizophrenia. Policy and Economics Group, Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.

Pham A, Baxter A, Somerville A, Ventura A, Scheurer R, Calabria B, McLaren J, Roberts A, Degenhardt L and Whiteford H: for the Mental Disorders and Illicit Drug Use Expert Group (2008). Summary of data collected and decision rules used in making regional and global estimates for: Depressive Disorders. Policy and Economics Group, Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.

Pham A, Baxter A, Ventura A, Somerville A, Scheurer R, Calabria B, McLaren J, Roberts A, Degenhardt L and Whiteford H: for the Mental Disorders and Illicit Drug Use Expert Group (2008). Summary of data collected and decision rules used in making regional and global estimates: Bipolar Disorder. Policy and Economics Group, Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.

Somerville A, Baxter A, Nelson P, Pham A, Ventura A, Scheurer R, Calabria B, McLaren J, Roberts A, Degenhardt L and Whiteford H: for the Mental Disorders and Illicit Drug Use Expert Group (2008). Summary of data collected and decision rules used in making regional and global estimates: Conduct Disorders. Policy and Economics Group, Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.

Somerville A, Baxter A, Pham A, Ventura A, Scheurer R, Calabria B, McLaren J, Roberts A, Nelson P, Degenhardt L and Whiteford H: for the Mental Disorders and Illicit Drug Use Expert Group (2008). Summary of data collected and decision rules used in making regional and global estimates: Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Policy and Economics Group, Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.

Ventura A, Baxter A, Pham A, Somerville A, Scheurer R, Calabria B, McLaren J, Roberts A, Degenhardt L and Whiteford H: for the Mental Disorders and Illicit Drug Use Expert Group (2008). Summary of data collected and decision rules used in making regional and global estimates: Eating Disorders. Policy and Economics Group, Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.

Ventura A, Baxter A, Somerville A, Pham A, Scheurer R, Calabria B, McLaren J, Roberts A, Degenhardt L and Whiteford H: for the Mental Disorders and Illicit Drug Use Expert Group (2008). Summary of data collected and decision rules used in making regional and global estimates: Pervasive Developmental Disorders. Policy and Economics Group, Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.

Benefits

The GBD study will provide four key benefits as a source of accurate knowledge and a vital tool for informed decision-making.

  1. Systematic and objective analysis is ensured by separating epidemiological assessment from advocacy, creating evidence-based pictures of health patterns that can subsequently motivate responsible policy formulation and research
  2. Balanced assessment of health problems, which combines information on disease and risk factor causes of premature mortality, morbidity, and disability
  3. Assessment of the magnitude of health problems using standard units of measurement, such as disability-adjusted life years (DALYs)
  4. Focus on education, training and transparency
Project Supporters

National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Fellowship

Drug Type
Project Status
Current
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