Global Burden of Disease

Health practitioners and policymakers need accurate information on health trends to improve health systems and combat health disparities. This crucial data is provided by the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study which is the largest study on worldwide trends in global health.

The GBD is led by the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), housed at the University of Washington School of Medicine, and involves a large collaborative network of researchers with expertise in various fields. The systematic review, released in May 2024, identifies 369 diseases and injuries, 87 risk factors in 204 countries, and showcases the impact of events such as the COVID-19 pandemic on health outcomes. Risk factors discussed in the report include environmental and occupational risks, behavioral risks, and metabolic risks.

One environmental risk factor considered in the GBD is air pollution, including ambient and household particulate matter (PM) pollution, as well as ambient ozone pollution. OpenAQ has served as a key data source for information on PM2.5, PM10 and NO2. In 2021, OpenAQ contributed annual average concentrations for select reference grade stations worldwide.

Many free, open-access, high-grade research and high-profile reports–that ultimately inform policy and practice–are produced from the GBD reports, such as reports produced by the World Bank , Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) , Our World in Data , and Health Effects Institute’s State of Global Air (SoGA) .

The most recent GBD estimates, released in May 2024, are available online. View and explore data on air pollution as a health risk and issue in the interactive GBD website here and explore other GBD data and tools here .

OpenAQ is proud to be a source of data for the GBD report, providing reliable historical and real-time global air quality data to support air pollution interventions. Read more on our blog .

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