Public Health England held their annual conference over two days (16-17th September) and Fiona Reynolds attended. You may have followed some of her (@Fibigibi13) and our (@Peoplesuni) tweets over the course of the event. We're still adding Fiona's notes to the Blog over the next couple of days. Tonight's focuses on "Global Burden of Disease 2013".The room for the discussion on the Global Burden of Disease: 2013 (GBD 2013) session was packed. The overarching theme of this discussion was making the data work for policy makers.The Global Burden of Disease enterprise dates back to the early 1990s, and the 2013 update of the project is being published this year. GBD 2013 reflects the work of over 1,000 researchers in more than 100 countries, with IHME as the coordinating center.The previous version, the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2010 (GBD 2010) published its first significant findings and an explanation of its methods in The Lancet in December 2012 in a series of seven papers, commentaries, and accompanying comprehensive web appendices totaling over 2,300 pages in length.The latest version covers 323 diseases and 72 risk factors. China, Mexico and the UK have sub-national breakdowns to help them explore what is happening in different regions. Other countries are likely to do the same in future iterations. Efforts have focused on enhancing case definitions and improving statistical approaches in order to improve comparability. There's also been a strong attempt to improve mortality coding, which is a key challenge for understanding what is really affecting people's health.Since GBD2010 the study includes new epidemiological data and a breakdown of undetermined injury codes to improve understanding and an extensive analysis of comorbidities. New risk factors have been added and the importance of sanitation has been highlighted.This is a vital issue for Low-to-Middle Income Countries and it is good to see this aspect of Public Health being "rubber stamped".Fiona commented that she hopes the presentations will be uploaded to the PHE Conference site as the material was very detailed. The abstracts are available here: https://www.phe-events.org.uk/hpa/frontend/reg/titem.csp?pageID=128112&e... next steps for GBD are developing 25 year forecasts including alternative scenarios (for example increasing/reducing physical activity, climate change) and including social determinants.The next speakers then moved to discuss the importance of high quality data. Heidi Larson spoke about translating data into policy/strategy and added that the UK is fortunate in its rich availability of data. Not all countries have this. She continued to explore why we need data.We need to understand issues and examine interventions that work - all issues that determine whether projects receive reinvestment.For example, Botswana used data to leverage raised tax/prices for alcohol and reduced hours of sales - an important and evidence-based public health intervention.Larson also emphasised that making data clear and compelling is vital to influence overloaded policymakers. GBD 2013 data is also available in user friendly and interactive forms to everyone.For more on the GBD visit:http://www.healthdata.org/gbd/aboutThis was a great session and drew together the themes and emphasis of the Biostatistics and Public Health Concepts for Policy Makers modules that Peoples-uni delivers.

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