THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2016

Study shows mortality rates for Ebola, similar diseases much higher in developing countries

A study by the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology was recently released showing that the mortality rates are hundreds of times higher in developing countries versus developed countries for diseases with skin manifestations.

According to the study, it is important, even if the global potential for a disease to spread is low, to keep up with disease monitoring.

The data for the study includes diseases like Ebola, measles and syphilis, and was taken from the Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD) funded by Bill and Melinda Gates. The GBD study includes 269 diseases and contains millions of data points showing disease distribution throughout the world.

For example, in 2010 the death rate for measles was 197 times greater in developing countries and syphilis had a 33 times greater chance of death than in developed countries. However, this is down from the 1990 statistics showing 345 times and 45 times greater death rates respectively.

Melanoma was the only disease that had a mortality rate that was higher in developed countries.

Robert Dellavalle, MD, PhD, MSPH, investigator at the University of Colorado Cancer Center, associate professor of dermatology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the paper's senior author attribute the difference in the mortality rate for melanoma by saying "we have light-skinned populations in areas with tropical sun including Australia and New Zealand, and Asian populations don't tend to embrace tanning the way we do in the United States and many developed countries in Europe.”

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