Preventable Deaths
Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Smoking and high blood pressure top the list of the most common causes of preventable death. Dr. Edward Hill discusses a study that looked at the causes of preventable death in todayís 60 Second Housecall.

Smoking remains the top cause of preventable death in the United States, followed closely by high blood pressure, with each accounting for about one in five adult deaths.

The report, conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health, also shows being physically inactive, overweight or obese accounted for nearly one in 10 preventable deaths.

In the study, researchers analyzed the effects of 12 dietary, lifestyle and metabolic risk factors on preventable adult deaths in 2005. These risk factors included tobacco smoking, alcohol use, physical inactivity, high LDL cholesterol, high blood pressure, high salt intake, low intake of fruits and vegetables and being obese.

The results showed:

* Tobacco smoking accounted for about 467,000 deaths.

* High blood pressure was responsible for about 395,000 deaths.

* Overweight-obesity accounted for 216,000 deaths.

* Physical inactivity was linked to about 191,000 deaths.

* High salt intake caused about 102,000 deaths.

Researchers say the results show that targeting a handful of risk factors has the potential to substantially reduce preventable deaths.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Edward Hill.