2 FEBRUARY 2010 | GENEVA – Almost 400 000 Americans are predicted to die of coronary heart disease in 2010, according to research published today in the International Public Health Journal, the Bulletin of the World Health Organization.
“Half of these deaths could be avoided if people ate healthier food and stopped smoking,” says Dr Simon Capewell, from the University of Liverpool in England, co-author of a study of cardiovascular risk factors in the United States of America. “There is no room for complacency.”
Since the 1970s, death rates have been cut in half and there have been major improvements in cardiovascular health due to reductions in cholesterol, blood pressure, smoking and increased physical activity. However, since 1990 these achievements have stalled because of dramatic rises in obesity and hence diabetes, as well as higher blood pressure in women.
The research calculated the number of deaths based on lifestyle trends from the baseline year 2000. It predicts that almost 200 000 lives could be saved if risk factors were modestly reduced, especially smoking and consumption of salt and saturated fats.
“By avoiding tobacco, eating a healthy diet and engaging in regular physical activity, people can dramatically reduce their risk of developing heart disease, stroke or diabetes,” says Dr Shanthi Mendis, co-ordinator of Chronic Diseases Prevention and Management at the World Health Organization. “Lifestyle choices directly determine the health of many of the world’s people. Worldwide, nearly one billion adults are overweight and, if no action is taken, this figure will surpass 1.5 billion by 2015.”
Read the paper here: http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/88/2/08-057885.pdf
The Bulletin of the World Health Organization is one of the world’s leading public health journals. It is the flagship periodical of the World Health Organization (WHO), with a special focus on developing countries. Articles are peer-reviewed and are independent of WHO guidelines.
Further items in this issue include:
- Renal replacement strains Thailand’s health-care scheme
- Sanitation comes first in preventing trachoma
- Politics prevents polio vaccines in Pakistan
- More than 50% overweight in the United Arab Emirates
- Sexual health for adolescents in Sri Lanka
- Mass treatment controls head lice infestations in Brazil
- Sunflower seed oil helps save premature babies
- Do vaccines work for pneumonia prevention in Australia’s indigenous children?
The Bulletin’s table of contents can be found at: http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/88/2/en/index.html
The complete content of the Bulletin, since 1948, is now available free to all readers worldwide through PubMed Central, available at: http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/tocrender.fcgi?journal=522&action=archive