Cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, cancers, and diabetes are the four main groups of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). They’re also a main cause of preventable, premature deaths.
New research shows that over 15 years 37 million premature deaths due to NCDs can be prevented. How? By reducing or curbing only six modifiable risk factors: tobacco use, harmful alcohol use, salt intake, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and obesity. As in, if you keep up your bad habits, chances are you won’t live as long. If you drop them, and get healthier, you’ll likely live longer, and our guess is your quality of life will improve too.
How, exactly would changing these 6 factors improve your life expectancy and reduce your risk of premature death?
Tobacco Use – Kick the habit to reduce risk of death by at least 30 percent, and up to 50 percent
- Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death, and is responsible for 5 million deaths per year worldwide.
- By reducing tobacco use by 50 percent, risk of dying from the four main NCDs would drop by 24 percent in men and 20 percent in women.
A shocking statistic concerning Russian men has garnered some attention recently, though this one has nothing to do with the upcoming Olympic games.
An article posted on TheGuardian.com on Friday, January 31st, detailed how a large number of young Russian men’s deaths have been linked to vodka consumption. Between the years 1999 and 2010, researchers interviewed over 150,000 men in various Russian cities concerning their drinking habits. When the researchers followed up with the same men years later, they had discovered that around 8,000 of them had died since the first interview.
From this initial selection of Russian men, the researchers concluded that approximately 35% of Russian men younger than 55 drink three or more half-liter bottles of vodka a week—which is the equivalent of more than 33 shots of vodka in a seven-day period.