37 Million Premature Deaths Can be Prevented by Reducing Only Six Risk Factors - The New Indian Express

37 Million Premature Deaths Can be Prevented by Reducing Only Six Risk Factors

Published: 11th May 2014 06:00 AM

Last Updated: 11th May 2014 11:03 AM

After the UN General Assembly agreed to reduce deaths from the top four chronic diseases in 2011, the World Health Organization created targets for premature deaths from these diseases and their key risk factors. Now, research published in The Lancet, a leading medical journal reveals that reducing six modifiable risk factors to the agreed target levels could prevent over 37 million premature deaths over 15 years. The four main non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are cardiovascular diseases, respiratory disease, cancers and diabetes, while the six modifiable risk factors are tobacco use, harmful alcohol use, salt intake, high blood pressure and blood sugar, and obesity. There is another, more worrying side of the finding: if these targets are not reached, 38.8 million deaths from the four main NCDs will likely occur in 2025.  Reducing high blood pressure and tobacco use will likely bring the biggest benefits, say the researchers, who estimate a 50 per cent reduction in smoking by 2025 will reduce risk of dying by over 24 per cent in men and 20 per cent in women.

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