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6 things that could prevent 37 million deaths in the next 25 years

Written by Agencies |Published : May 3, 2014 12:23 PM IST

Heart-diseaseIf we can reduce or curb six health risk factors from life, we can prevent more than 37 million premature deaths from chronic diseases over 15 years globally, a pioneering research has revealed. Tobacco use, harmful alcohol use, salt intake, high blood pressure and blood sugar, and obesity - achieving these health targets can significantly reduce or curb deaths from four main non-communicable diseases (NCDs) - cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory disease, cancers and diabetes.

The worrying part is that 'not reaching these targets would result in 38.8 million deaths in 2025 from the four main NCDs - 10.5 million deaths more than the 28.3 million who died in 2010', the researchers warned. This is the first study to analyse the impact that reducing globally targeted risk factors will have on the UN's '25x25' target to reduce premature deaths from NCDs by 25 percent by 2025. (Read: Certain food items can prevent chronic diseases)

Using country-level data, professor Majid Ezzati from Imperial College London and colleagues estimated the number of deaths that could be prevented between 2010 and 2025 by reducing the burden of each of the six risk factors to globally-agreed target levels. These levels are: tobacco use (30 percent reduction and a more ambitious 50 percent reduction), alcohol use (10 percent reduction), salt intake (30 percent reduction), high blood pressure (25 percent reduction), and halting the rise in the prevalence of obesity and diabetes. (Read: Tips to prevent chronic illness)

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Overall, the findings suggest that meeting the targets for all six risk factors would reduce the risk of dying prematurely from the four main NCDs by 22 percents in men and 19 percents for women in 2025 compared to what they were in 2010. The authors predict that the largest benefits will come from reducing high blood pressure and tobacco use. 'Most of the benefits will be seen in low-income and middle-income countries where as many as 31 million deaths could be prevented,' professor Ezzati noted in the study published in the journal The Lancet.

Source: IANS

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