Washington (IANS):- Smoking, high blood pressure and being overweight are the leading preventable causes of death in the US says a new study.
Researchers from Harvard School of Public Health ( HSPH ), Universities of Toronto and Washington, found that smoking kills 467,000 people every year, high blood pressure (BP) claims 395,000 lives and being overweight accounts for 216,000 deaths.
The effects of smoking work out to be about one in five adult deaths in US while high BP is responsible for one in six deaths.
It is the most comprehensive study yet to look at how diet, lifestyle and metabolic risk factors for chronic disease contribute to mortality in the US.
“The large magnitude of the numbers for many of these risks made us pause,” said Goodarz Danaei, doctoral student at HSPH and study co-author.
“To have hundreds of thousands of premature deaths caused by these modifiable risk factors is shocking and should motivate a serious look at whether our public health system… is currently focusing on the right set of interventions,” said Majid Ezzati, Associate Professor at HSPH and study co-author.
The researchers also found large effects from a series of other preventable dietary and lifestyle risk factors said a Harvard release.
Almost one of every three cancer deaths in the United States – 160,000 people a year – is the result of tobacco use. Tobacco causes 87 percent of lung cancer deaths and has been strongly linked to cancers of the esophagus, bladder, pancreas, stomach, colon, cervix, liver, and kidney. If current patterns continue, 25 million Americans alive today, including 5 million children, will die prematurely from smoking related diseases.