June 10, 2019
Changing three things in just 25 years could drastically reduce the number of people dying prematurely from cardiovascular disease (CVD) on a global scale a new study out of Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health suggests.
According to the study’s release, researchers believe that lowering people’s blood pressure, ridding diets of trans fat and slashing sodium intake are the three steps it would take to greatly reduce CVD-related premature death.
This research was published Monday in the journal Circulation.
The 25 year improvement is an estimate Harvard researchers calculated from multiple sets of global data, including some from the World Health Organization. According to the release, researchers:
Estimated that scaling up treatment of high blood pressure to 70% of the world's population could extend the lives of 39.4 million people. Cutting sodium intake by 30% could stave off another 40 million deaths and could also help decrease high blood pressure, a major risk factor for CVD. And eliminating trans fat could prevent 14.8 million early deaths.
Researchers believe these interventions to prevent CVD deaths will primarily benefit men — who are at the highest risk of early death — as well as those in East Asia, the Pacific, South Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa.
While implementing these interventions on a global scale will prove to be a “huge challenge,” researchers believe that it is both achievable and affordable, based on their estimates and smaller-scale successes in the past.