A number of conditions are linked to increasing our mortality rate. They include tobacco use, harmful alcohol use, salt intake, high blood pressure and blood sugar and obesity and all have been correlated with four conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory disease, cancers, and diabetes.
The United Nations has a target to reduce premature deaths from non communicable diseases, such as those listed above, by 25% in the year 2025. Currently the prediction is that there will 38.8 million global deaths as a result of any of the four conditions.
Professor Majid Ezzati from Imperial College London, UK, and his research colleagues have estimated that the number of deaths could be prevented between 2010 and 2025 by reducing the burden of each of the six risk factors as follows: 1. Reduce tobacco use by 30-50%; 2. Reduce alcohol use by 10%; 3. Lower high blood pressure by 25% and 4. Decrease the level of obesity and diabetes.
The impact of addressing the risk factors would reduce the risk of dying in men by 22 % and 19 % for women. Professor Ezzati commented on the study as follows: “Our findings show that achieving risk factor targets will make an essential contribution to achieving the 25×25 mortality target by accelerating the decreasing trends in mortality from cardiovascular diseases and chronic respiratory diseases, lowering mortality from lung and stomach cancers, and reversing the rising trend in diabetes mortality. Most of the benefits will be seen in low-income and middle-income countries where as many as 31 million deaths could be prevented.”
Vasilis Kontis, Colin D Mathers, Jürgen Rehm, Gretchen A Stevens, Kevin D Shield, Ruth Bonita, Leanne M Riley, Vladimir Poznyak, Robert Beaglehole, Majid Ezzati. Contribution of six risk factors to achieving the 25×25 non-communicable disease mortality reduction target: a modelling study. The Lancet, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(14)60616-4