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The Richard Doll Consortium facilitates collaboration between researchers and promotes data sharing to produce reliable estimates of the major causes of premature death with which to inform public health policies.

Large-scale observational studies have helped identify many of the major causes of premature death including smoking, obesity, elevated blood pressure, diabetes, dyslipidaemia, harmful alcohol use, poor diet and physical inactivity. However, the effects of such factors vary greatly from one population to another and it is still unclear how important these factors are in different settings, and how their importance changes with time. 

Current global estimates depend mainly on mathematical extrapolation from findings in high-income countries. Direct evidence from low- and middle-income countries is important as it may improve future local and regional disease control strategies, and significantly change global estimates. The Richard Doll Consortium aims to promote the conduct of large-scale observational studies worldwide to strengthen our understanding of the global and local relevance of the major causes of premature death.