London — Heart disease and tobacco ranked with conflict and violence among the world’s biggest killers in 2016, while poor diets and mental disorders caused people the greatest ill health, a large international study has found. The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study, published on Friday in The Lancet medical journal, found that while life expectancy was increasing, so too were the years people lived in poor health. The proportion of life spent being ill is higher in poor countries than in wealthy ones. "Death is a powerful motivator, both for individuals and for countries, to address diseases that have been killing us at high rates. But we’ve been much less motivated to address issues leading to illnesses," said Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, which led the study. He said a "triad of troubles" — obesity, conflict, and mental illness — is emerging as a "stubborn and persistent barrier to active ...

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