Cutting Six Risk Factors Could Prevent 37 Million Deaths

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Cutting Six Risk Factors Could Prevent 37 Million Deaths
Cutting Six Risk Factors Could Prevent 37 Million Deaths

(HealthDay News) — By meeting targets for reducing six risk factors, 37 million deaths from the four main non-communicable diseases (NCDs) can be prevented, according to a study published online May 3 in The Lancet.

Vasilis Kontis, PhD, from the Imperial College London, and colleagues estimated the impact of achieving the targets for six risk factors (tobacco and alcohol use, salt intake, obesity, and raised blood pressure and glucose) on NCD mortality between 2010 and 2025 using country data and previous epidemiological studies.

The researchers found that, if risk factor targets are achieved, the probability of dying from the four main NCDs (cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, cancer, and diabetes) in those aged 30–70 years will decrease by 22% in men and by 19% in women, compared with a decrease of 11% in men and 10% in women under "business-as-usual" models. This translates to >37 million lives saved (16 million in people aged 30–69 years and 21 million in people ≥70 years or older) from the main NCDs over these 15 years. These benefits of delayed or prevented deaths would primarily be in low-income and middle-income countries.

"On the basis of mortality benefits and feasibility, a more ambitious target than currently agreed should be adopted for tobacco use," the authors write.

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