Monday, May 4, 2009

Estimated US deaths due to preventable factors approach 2 million per year

An article published online on April 28, 2009 in the journal Public Library of Science Medicine ( PLoS Medicine) estimates 1,977,000 deaths each year in the United States are due to preventable risk factors. Smoking, hypertension and being overweight top the list, with 1,078,000 yearly deaths attributed to these preventable causes.

For their report, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, along with colleagues from the University of Toronto and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, utilized data from U.S. health surveys as well as mortality statistics from the National Center for Health Statistics. Deaths were categorized as preventable if the subjects would not have died at the time they did if they did not have a particular modifiable risk factor. In addition to smoking, high blood pressure and overweight/obesity, the team listed the following risk factors as among the top preventable causes of death: inadequate physical activity, elevated glucose, high low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, insufficient omega-3 fatty acid intake, high trans fatty acid intake, alcohol abuse, low vegetable and fruit intake, and low dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids. While alcohol use is protective against mortality from cardiovascular disease and diabetes, alcohol-related deaths from traffic and other accidents, violence, cancer and other diseases outweighed its benefits, leading to an estimated 64,000 yearly deaths.
Continue Reading

No comments: