More focus on BP control, diet may prevent 94.3 million premature deaths
BP control, sodium intake reduction and trans fatty acid elimination may prevent nearly 100 million global deaths within a 25-year period, according to a study published in Circulation.
“Focusing our resources on the combination of these three interventions can have a huge potential impact on cardiovascular health through 2040,” Goodarz Danaei, MD, associate professor of global health at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said in a press release.
Vasilis Kontis, PhD, of the School of Public Health and MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health at Imperial College London, and colleagues analyzed data on the potential effects of sodium intake reduction, hypertension treatment and trans fat intake reduction on noncommunicable disease deaths between 2015 and 2040. Data were obtained from observational studies, meta-analyses of randomized trials and WHO’s projected mortality rates by cause in each country.
Researchers estimated that the three interventions may delay 94.3 million deaths by 2040 (95% CI, 85.7-102.7). An increase in high BP treatment coverage by 70% may delay 39.4 million deaths during this 25-year period (95% CI, 35.9-43). Another 40 million deaths could be prevented with a 30% reduction in sodium intake (95% CI, 35.1-44.6). The delay of an additional 14.8 million deaths may occur with the elimination of trans fat intake (95% CI, 14.7-15).
The largest effect from trans fat elimination was seen in South Asia, where 29.9% (95% CI, 28.9-31.1) of the 17.5 million deaths that would be delayed from 2015 to 2040 would occur. The largest proportion of premature delayed deaths — patients younger than 70 years — would occur in sub-Saharan Africa at 54.2% (95% CI, 51.3-57.3).
“Successful global implementation would require increased investment in health care capacity and quality of care in the primary health care sector, and increased efforts to reduce sodium and eliminate trans fat intake through regulation and health promotion campaigns as well,” Kontis and colleagues wrote. “If countries commit resources to implement these highly cost-effective interventions, they will save lives and help achieve the targets set in the Sustainable Development Goals to reduce premature [noncommunicable diseases] deaths.” – by Darlene Dobkowski
Disclosures: Danaei and Kontis report no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.