A NEW series of papers, published in the Lancet on December 13th, provides the most complete portrait of global health ever painted. Led by Christopher Murray of the University of Washington, the study quantifies who is dying from what; where and when they are dying; why they got ill in the first place; and whether those who live longer are living sicker. Different regions suffer different afflictions, but the data reveal a clear shift. The good news is that people are living longer. Between 1970 and 2010, the most basic metric for health—life expectancy at birth—rose from 56.4 years to 67.5 years for men and from 61.2 years to 73.3 years for women. Remarkable progress has been made in the fight against infectious disease, and mortality rates for children have dropped. The bad news is that, as people live longer, they are developing all kinds of other problems. DALYs, or disability-adjusted life years, are a particularly telling measure. They represent the sum of years lost to illness and premature death. In 1990 infectious disease, malnutrition and ailments of mothers and newborns accounted for 47% of DALYs (see pie charts below). In 2010 they comprised just 35%, with chronic diseases accounting for 54% and injuries for 11%. The toll of chronic diseases looks set to rise, as populations age and become wealthier. Infectious disease remains a big problem in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia. For the rest of the world, the main concerns are the ailments you do not catch.