3 lifestyle changes could reduce early deaths, study shows

Global population health initiatives centered on blood pressure, sodium intake and trans-fat could help prevent 94.2 million premature deaths, according to research by Boston-based Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Researchers studied global data from the World Health Organization and found that initiatives focused on the following could lead to a significant drop in premature deaths:

• Lowering blood pressure
• Cutting sodium intake
• Eliminating trans-fat from diets

Extending high blood pressure treatment to 70 percent of the world's population could extend the lives of 39.4 million people; reducing sodium intake by 30 percent could prevent another 40 million early deaths; and eliminating trans-fat could reduce early deaths by another 14.8 million.

"Focusing our resources on the combination of these three interventions can have a huge potential impact on cardiovascular health through 2040," said Goodarz Danaei, MD, DSc, study lead author and associate professor of global health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

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