Abraham D Flaxman's research while affiliated with Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) and other places

Publications (293)

Preprint
Importance While much of the attention on the COVID-19 pandemic was directed at the daily counts of cases and those with serious disease overwhelming health services, increasingly, reports have appeared of people who experience debilitating symptoms after the initial infection. This is popularly known as long COVID. Objective To estimate by countr...
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Context Foundational Capabilities (FC) are the public health (PH) infrastructure areas that are essential for local health departments (LHDs) to support a “minimum package” of programs and services that promote population health. Despite being a critical component of LHD programs, FC are chronically underfunded, and studies specific to the relation...
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Importance: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to more than 900 000 deaths in the US and continues to disrupt lives even as effective vaccines are available. Objective: To estimate the health outcomes and net cost of implementing postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) with monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against household exposure to COVID-19. Design, setting,...
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Background Vitamin A Supplementation (VAS) is a cost-effective intervention to decrease mortality associated with measles and diarrheal diseases among children aged 6–59 months in low-income countries. Recently, experts have suggested that other interventions like large-scale food fortification and increasing the coverage of measles vaccination mig...
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Background Timely, accurate, and comprehensive estimates of SARS-CoV-2 daily infection rates, cumulative infections, the proportion of the population that has been infected at least once, and the effective reproductive number (Reffective) are essential for understanding the determinants of past infection, current transmission patterns, and a popula...
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Background Malnutrition among women of childbearing age is especially prevalent in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa and can be harmful to the fetus during pregnancy. In the most recently available Demographic and Health Survey (DHS), approximately 10% to 20% of pregnant women in India, Pakistan, Mali, and Tanzania were undernourished (body mass index [B...
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Introduction Vital registration is an important element in health information systems which can inform policy and strengthen health systems. Mexico has a well-functioning vital registration system; however, there is still room for improvement, especially for deaths of children under 5. This study assesses the quality of the vital registration syste...
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Background National rates of COVID-19 infection and fatality have varied dramatically since the onset of the pandemic. Understanding the conditions associated with this cross-country variation is essential to guiding investment in more effective preparedness and response for future pandemics. Methods Daily SARS-CoV-2 infections and COVID-19 deaths...
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Objective This analysis examines governorate-level disease incidence as well as the relationship between incidence and the number of persons of concern for three vaccine-preventable diseases—measles, mumps, and rubella—between 2001 and 2016. Methods Using Iraqi Ministry of Health and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) data, we p...
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Context: Local health departments (LHDs) function to promote and protect population health by executing programs and activities through the 10 essential public health (PH) services in their operationalization of the core functions of PH systems-assessment, policy development, and assurance. PH accreditation supports LHDs by assessing their ability...
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Objectives Gold standard cause of death data is critically important to improve verbal autopsy (VA) methods in diagnosing cause of death where civil and vital registration systems are inadequate or poor. As part of a three-country research study—Improving Methods to Measure Comparable Mortality by Cause (IMMCMC) study—data were collected on clinico...
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Background Household contacts of people with pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) have greater risk of developing TB. Recent guidelines conditionally recommended TB preventive treatment (TPT) for household contacts of any age living in TB high-incidence countries, expanding earlier guidance to provide TPT to household contacts under five. The all-age popula...
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Background Before 2020, mental disorders were leading causes of the global health-related burden, with depressive and anxiety disorders being leading contributors to this burden. The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has created an environment where many determinants of poor mental health are exacerbated. The need for up-to-date information on the...
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Data visualization tools have the potential to support decision-making for public health professionals. This review summarizes the science and evidence regarding data visualization and its impact on decision-making behavior as informed by cognitive processes such as understanding, attitude, or perception. An electronic literature search was conduct...
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Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to over 600,000 deaths in the United States and continues to disrupt lives even as effective vaccines are available. We aimed to estimate the impact and health system cost of implementing post-exposure prophylaxis against household exposure to COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies. Methods: We developed a dec...
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Background Previous research has focused on the mortality associated with armed conflict as the primary measure of the population health effects of war. However, mortality only demonstrates part of the burden placed on a population by conflict. Injuries and resultant disabilities also have long-term effects on a population and are not accounted for...
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Background: Healthcare workers are at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic and it is essential to monitor the relative incidence rate of this group, as compared to workers in other occupations. This study aimed to produce estimates of the relative incidence ratio between healthcare workers and workers in non-healthcare occupations. Methods: Analy...
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Objective: We examined delays during the search for care and associations with mother, child, or health services characteristics, and with symptoms reported prior to death. Materials and methods: Cross-sectional study compris-ing household interviews with 252 caregivers of children under-5 who died in the state of Yucatán, Mexico, during 2015-20...
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Importance Globally, more than 250 million people live with visual acuity loss or blindness, and people in the US fear losing vision more than memory, hearing, or speech. But it appears there are no recent empirical estimates of visual acuity loss or blindness for the US. Objective To produce estimates of visual acuity loss and blindness by age, s...
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Objective This study aimed to assess public health professionals’ use of data, information, and evidence and to understand perceptions and preferences regarding data visualization to inform future design of data visualization tools. Design We conducted qualitative interviews with public health professionals who use data for decision making as part...
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We use COVID-19 case and mortality data from 1 February 2020 to 21 September 2020 and a deterministic SEIR (susceptible, exposed, infectious and recovered) compartmental framework to model possible trajectories of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections and the effects of non-pharmaceutical interventions in the Unite...
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A Correction to this paper has been published: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-020-01181-w
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Background: Healthcare workers are at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic and it is essential to monitor the relative infection rate of this group, as compared to workers in other occupations. This study aimed to produce estimates of the relative incidence ratio between healthcare workers and workers in non-healthcare occupations. Methods: Analy...
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Burden of Disease studies—such as the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Study—quantify health loss in disability-adjusted life-years. However, these studies stop short of quantifying the future impact of interventions that shift risk factor distributions, allowing for trends and time lags. This methodology paper explains how proportional multistate li...
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Introduction Tracking the COVID-19 pandemic using existing metrics such as confirmed cases and deaths are insufficient for understanding the trajectory of the pandemic and identifying the next wave of cases. In this study, we demonstrate the utility of monitoring the daily number of patients with COVID-like illness (CLI) who present to the Emergenc...
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Importance US health care spending has continued to increase and now accounts for 18% of the US economy, although little is known about how spending on each health condition varies by payer, and how these amounts have changed over time. Objective To estimate US spending on health care according to 3 types of payers (public insurance [including Med...
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We recently published in BMC Medicine an evaluation of the comparative diagnostic performance of InSilicoVA, a software to map the underlying causes of death from verbal autopsy interviews. The developers of this software claim to have failed to replicate our results and appear to have also failed to locate our replication archive for this work. In...
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Background In many low and middle-income countries (LMICs), timely access to emergency healthcare services is limited. In urban settings, traffic can have a significant impact on travel time, leading to life-threatening delays for time-sensitive injuries and medical emergencies. In this study, we examined travel times to hospitals in Nairobi, Kenya...
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Background: Verbal autopsy (VA) is increasingly being considered as a cost-effective method to improve cause of death information in countries with low quality vital registration. VA algorithms that use empirical data have an advantage over expert derived algorithms in that they use responses to the VA instrument as a reference instead of physicia...
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Ensemble modelling is a quantitative method that combines information from multiple individual models and has shown great promise in statistical machine learning. Ensemble models have a theoretical claim to being models that make the 'best' predictions possible. Applications of ensemble models to health research have included applying ensemble mode...
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Background: The 2003 invasion of Iraq significantly undermined population health. However, there is a lack of understanding of how it has undermined communicable disease control. We assessed incidence trend of 32 communicable diseases in post-conflict Iraq. Methods: Reported incidence data for 32 communicable diseases (2004-2016) were harvested...
Preprint
Background Reducing neonatal and child mortality is a top priority for global health agendas and relies in part on the degree to which the population can access quality health services in a timely manner. This study explores the delays faced during the search for care by caregivers of children under the age of 5 who died in the State of Yucatan, Me...
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Introduction: Verbal autopsy (VA) is a useful tool for evaluating causes of death, especially in places with limited or no vital registration systems. The Population Health Metrics Research Consortium (PHMRC) developed a validated questionnaire and a set of automated methods to determine the cause of death from a VA. However, the application of th...
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Background: Recent economic growth in Papua New Guinea (PNG) would suggest that the country may be experiencing an epidemiological transition, characterized by a reduction in infectious diseases and a growing burden from non-communicable diseases (NCDs). However, data on cause-specific mortality in PNG are very sparse, and the extent of the transi...
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Background: Existing WHO estimates of the prevalence of mental disorders in emergency settings are more than a decade old and do not reflect modern methods to gather existing data and derive estimates. We sought to update WHO estimates for the prevalence of mental disorders in conflict-affected settings and calculate the burden per 1000 population...
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Background To inform plans to achieve universal health coverage (UHC), we estimated utilisation and unit cost of outpatient visits and inpatient admissions, did a decomposition analysis of utilisation, and estimated additional services and funds needed to meet a UHC standard for utilisation. Methods We collated 1175 country-years of outpatient dat...
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Abraham D. Flaxman and Theo Vos of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, discuss near-term applications for ML in population health and name their priorities for ongoing ML development.
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BACKGROUND: Alcohol use is a leading risk factor for death and disability, but its overall association with health remains complex given the possible protective effects of moderate alcohol consumption on some conditions. With our comprehensive approach to health accounting within the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2016,...
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Background: The under-5 mortality rate (U5MR) is an important metric of child health and survival. Country-level estimates of U5MR are readily available, but efforts to estimate U5MR subnationally have been limited, in part, due to spatial misalignment of available data sources (e.g., use of different administrative levels, or as a result of histo...
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Background: A key component of achieving universal health coverage is ensuring that all populations have access to quality health care. Examining where gains have occurred or progress has faltered across and within countries is crucial to guiding decisions and strategies for future improvement. We used the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and R...
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A key component of achieving universal health coverage is ensuring that all populations have access to quality health care. Examining where gains have occurred or progress has faltered across and within countries is crucial to guiding decisions and strategies for future improvement. We used the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors...
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Supplement to: GBD 2016 Healthcare Access and Quality Collaborators. Measuring performance on the Healthcare Access and Quality Index for 195 countries and territories and selected subnational locations: a systematic analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016. Lancet 2018; published online May 23. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(18)...
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Background: Recently, a new algorithm for automatic computer certification of verbal autopsy data named InSilicoVA was published. The authors presented their algorithm as a statistical method and assessed its performance using a single set of model predictors and one age group. Methods: We perform a standard procedure for analyzing the predictiv...
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As part of the Gates Grand Challenge 13, the Population Health Metrics Research Consortium (PHMRC) collected data to enable the development and validation of methods that measure cause-specific mortality in populations with incomplete or inadequate cause of death coding. This work yielded 11,979 verbal autopsy interviews (VAIs). In each, a field in...
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Two rotavirus vaccines, RotaTeq and Rotarix, are licensed for global use; however, the protection they confer to unvaccinated individuals through indirect effects remains unknown. We systematically reviewed the literature and quantified indirect rotavirus vaccine effectiveness (VE) for preventing rotavirus hospitalization in children aged less than...
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Background: There is increasing interest in using verbal autopsy to produce nationally representative population-level estimates of causes of death. However, the burden of processing a large quantity of surveys collected with paper and pencil has been a barrier to scaling up verbal autopsy surveillance. Direct electronic data capture has been used...
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Background Recurrent diverticulitis is the most common reason for elective colon surgery and, although professional societies now recommend against early resection, its use continues to rise. Shared decision making decreases use of low-value surgery but identifying which patients are most likely to elect surgery has proven difficult. We hypothesize...
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Background Verbal autopsy (VA) is a practical method for determining probable causes of death at the population level in places where systems for medical certification of cause of death are weak. VA methods suitable for use in routine settings, such as civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) systems, have developed rapidly in the last decade...