Premature deaths around the world are now caused mainly by high blood pressure and poor eating habits, according to a new study.
In 1990 premature death occurred primarily because of unsafe water supplies, malnourishment in pregnant women and in children and poor hygiene in general. As the new study shows, the main risk factors have changed dramatically over the past twenty-five years.
In the present-day, most deaths are caused by high blood pressure also know as hypertension and poor diets.
Researchers conducted a study called the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors in 2013. In the study they selected 188 countries from which they analysed a number of 79 factors that put people’s health at risk. The main risk factors found by the researchers, that were prevalent in all 188 countries were: high blood pressure, poor diet, high body mass index (BMI), smoking and hyperglycaemia or high blood sugar levels.
A number of approximately 25 million people died in 1990 due to these rick factors, while a staggering number of 31 million died in 2013. The results clearly show that the cases of premature death increased worldwide by 6 million.
The main risk factor that threatens the lives of both women and men is hypertension commonly referred to as high blood pressure. According to scientists between 1990 and 2013, 50 percent of the deaths were attributed to high blood pressure. Often times hypertension comes with age, but it can also be triggered by bad habits such smoking, consuming alcohol, lack of exercise or obesity.
In second place came poor diets as a risk factor. Nowadays people tend to eat less fruits and vegetables, fish, whole grain products and rather indulge in fatty and sugary processed foods, sodas and meals rich in red meat, say experts. All of these things combined will eventually lead to premature death.
“There’s great potential to improve health by avoiding certain risks like smoking and poor diet as well as tackling environmental risks like air pollution. The challenge for policy makers will be to use what we know to guide prevention efforts and health policies,” declared Christopher J.L. Murray, a Professor of Global Health at the University of Washington and Director of the Institute for Health Metrics (IHME).
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