3 easy ways to save almost 100 million lives worldwide

July 07, 2019 , The Daily Star

Expanding blood pressure treatment, reducing dietary sodium, and eliminating trans fats could dramatically decrease mortality. Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are the leading cause of death worldwide and are largely preventable through changes in modifiable risk factors. Researchers quantified the global impact of three public health interventions on NCD mortality: increasing the coverage of hypertension treatment to 70%, reducing dietary sodium by 30%, and eliminating trans fats.

Using data from a myriad of sources, including population health surveys and World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Health Estimates, the investigators predicted changes in mortality between 2015 and 2040. According to the analysis, the three interventions could delay 94.3 million deaths during 25 years (39.4 million from boosting hypertension treatment, 40.0 million from reducing sodium intake, and 14.8 million from eliminating trans fats).

The effects were greater for men than women and for older (age ≥70) than younger people. The largest number of projected delayed deaths occurred in East Asia and the Pacific, followed by South Asia, a region encompassing Central/Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa.

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