New research says three public health interventions could save 94 million lives globally

June 11, 2019
Medicare Web

New research from Harvard’s T. H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston claims three health interventions related to cardiovascular disease could extend the lives of 94 million people globally in the next 25 years.

The study claims that incidence of premature death from cardiovascular disease could be dramatically reduced with a worldwide effort to do the following:

  • Lower blood pressure

  • Reduce sodium intake

  • Eliminate trans fats from diets

Researchers estimated the proportional effects of intervention and determined that increasing coverage of antihypertensive medication to 70% could extend the lives of 39.4 million people. Reducing sodium intake by 30% would delay an additional 40 million deaths, and eliminating trans fats could prevent 14.8 million early deaths. Researchers used global data from a pooled analysis of population health studies and estimates from the World Health Organization to make these calculations.

The study notes that South Asia would benefit most from the elimination of trans fats, and sub-Saharan Africa would have the largest proportion of premature delayed deaths out of all delayed deaths.

The study authors acknowledge that scaling up such interventions would require a variety of programs, policies, and committed resources to increase healthcare capacity. However, the authors indicate that previous analyses have shown achievable and affordable intervention options.

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