Life expectancy worldwide has risen for decades. But more people are living more years with debilitating ailments, according to a new study by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle. In developed countries (top half of graphic), the trouble comes almost entirely from noncommunicable conditions such as heart and lung disease and back pain (orange)—ills typically associated with lifestyle choices such as diet and exercise. In developing nations, however (bottom), the prevalence of these ailments is increasing rapidly, even as those countries continue to try to stamp out communicable diseases such as diarrhea and malaria that have plagued them for a long time (blue). If developing nations are clever, though, they can create health policies that impede the new threats and keep reducing the old ones. “Knowing what's coming,” says Amy VanderZanden at the institute, “they can prioritize what they should do.”

SOURCE: “GBD COMPARE.” INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH METRICS AND EVALUATION, SEATTLE, WA, 2015. ACCESSED DECEMBER 1, 2015 http://vizhub.healthdata.org/gbd-compare

Graphic by Pitch Interactive