The Lancet presents the most recent update on the global, regional, and national causes of death. Against a backdrop of increased global improvements in life-expectancy, death rates for some causes – including drug use and liver cancer – continue to rise.

Up-to-date evidence on levels and trends for age-sex-specific all-cause and cause-specific mortality is essential for the formation of global, regional, and national health policies. In the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013 (GBD 2013) we estimated yearly deaths for 188 countries between 1990, and 2013. We used the results to assess whether there is epidemiological convergence across countries.