CREAL: Avoidable risk factors take an increasing toll on health worldwide

CREAL: Avoidable risk factors take an increasing toll on health worldwide

News from CREAL

A wide range of avoidable risk factors to health account for a growing number of deaths and a significant amount of disease burden, according to a new analysis of 79 risks in 188 countries.

High blood pressure was the number-one individual risk factor associated with global deaths in 2013, contributing to 10.4 million deaths around the world that year. High blood pressure's impact on mortality grew by 49.1% between 1990 - when it was also the number-one global risk - and 2013. While this risk heavily impacts both sexes, its increasing impact has been more dramatic for men than women. High blood pressure grew 39.9% for women and 59% for men. It was associated with the deaths of 5.4 million American males in 2013.

The risk factors examined in the study contributed to a total of 30.8 million deaths in 2013, up by one-fifth from 25.1 million deaths in 1990. The top risks associated with the deaths of both men and women are high blood pressure, smoking, high body mass index, and high fasting plasma glucose. But the greatest cumulative impact on health comes from poor diet. A combination of 14 dietary risk factors contributes to the highest number of deaths worldwide through ailments like ischemic heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. In 2013, 21% of total global deaths were attributed to these risks, which include diets low in fruit, whole grains, and vegetables, and diets high in red meat and sugar-sweetened beverages.

This study, that examines the extent, pattern, and trends of risk factors' contributions to death and health loss across countries, was published in The Lancet and it was conducted by an international consortium of researchers working on the Global Burden of Disease project and led by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. In this paper have participated Elisabeth Cardis, Mark Nieuwenhuijsen and David Rojas-Rueda, researchers from CREAL, an ISGlobal allied center.

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CREAL news

Global, regional, and national comparative risk assessment of 79 behavioural, environmental and occupational, and metabolic risks or clusters of risks in 188 countries, 1990-2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013. GBD 2013 Risk Factors Collaborators. Lancet. 2015 Sep 10. pii: S0140-6736(15)00128-2. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(15)00128-2. [Epub ahead of print]