According to new research published in The Lancet, high blood pressure, smoking, and high body mass are the top avoidable risk factors for death and disease among adults worldwide.
The study, led by Dr. Mohammad Hossein Forouzanfar and his team, analyzed data gathered between 1990 and 2013 and taken from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study.
The team was determined to estimate the number of deaths, the number of years lived with disability, years of life lost, and disability-adjusted life years attributable to 79 variable risk factors across 188 countries over the 23-year period. The team also assessed the effects of the risk factors by age and sex.
Results indicated that the variable risk factors accounted for 30.8 million deaths in 2013—an increase from 25.1 million in 1990.
Furthermore, the team found that high blood pressure, or hypertension, was the most common mortality risk factor for men and women. Between 1990 and 2013, the number of deaths caused by high blood pressure increased by nearly 50%.
Smoking had the second greatest impact on mortality for men and women over the 23-year period, with the number of deaths caused by smoking increasing by more than 25%.
High body mass index was the third greatest mortality risk factor for both men and women, with a 63.2% increase in deaths due to the condition between 1990 and 2013.
When assessing dietary risk factors on mortality, researchers discovered that a combination of 14 risk factors contributed to 21% of global deaths between 1990 and 2013, mainly due to conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.
Sources for Today’s Article:
Whiteman, H., “High Blood Pressure Greatest Risk Factor for Global Death, Study Finds,” Medical News Today web site, September 11, 2015; http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/299411.php.
Mohammad, H.F., et al., “Global, regional, and national comparative risk assessment of 79 behavioral, environmental and occupational, and metabolic risks or clusters of risks in 188 countries, 1990–2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Diseases Study 2013,” The Lancet September 11, 2015, doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(15)00128-2.