Reducing six modifiable risk factors could prevent 37 million deaths from chronic diseases over 15 years.

Reducing or curbing just six modifiable risk factors—tobacco use, harmful alcohol use, salt intake, high blood pressure and blood sugar, and obesity—to globally-agreed target levels could prevent more than 37 million premature deaths over 15 years, from the four main non-communicable diseases (NCDs; cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory disease, cancers, and diabetes) according to new research published by the Lancet today.

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

Vasilis started with my “business-as-usual” projections of deaths by cause for all countries of the world, and implemented a quite complex set of models (which the other authors also had a lot to do with!) to estimate the additional deaths avertable by reaching the six risk factor targets for 2025 agreed by the World Health Assembly in 2013. Thanks must go to Majid for steering the whole project on a rapid time frame.

ScienceDaily also has a summary of the results:

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