Preventive Measures – A Prescription That Almost Cost You Nothing

Your effort to avoid bad cholesterol, cut salt intake in your diet and curb smoking could prevent millions of deaths each year because of heart disease and hypertension, the international researchers had noted.

Such simple measures would cost you almost nil but they can save billions of dollars in lost productivity and health costs, according to a special report in the Lancet Medical Journal.

They look at prevention efforts in twenty three low and middle income countries like China, India, Russia, Brazil, Turkey, Mexico, Pakistan, South Africa, Poland and Nigeria in which eighty percent of worldwide deaths from chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer and diabetes occur.

Reducing the salt intake by fifteen percent and implementing tobacco control measures such as raising taxes, enforcing a smoke free workplaces and public awareness of what healthful diet is, would prevent that run into millions of deaths over ten years at less cost per person in low to middle income countries but it would cost higher in high income countries like the United States. High salt and bad cholesterol intake can cause hypertension which can raise the risk of stroke and heart attack.

The World Health Organization (WHO), no more than five grams of salt a day. Salt consumption could be cut by reducing salt content in processed foods and running a mass media campaign to encourage people to use less salt.

Findings had shown that over ten years, almost fourteen million deaths could be averted if chosen measures such as getting rid of tobacco smoking, salt intake reduction and avoiding bad cholesterol intake were implemented.

Most of the deaths prevented, some seventy six percent would be from heart disease, fifteen percent from respiratory disease and nearly nine percent from cancer. A study by the University of Washington in Seattle, efforts to target and treat people at high risk of heart disease in low to middle income countries could avoid nearly eighteen million deaths in ten years.

They projected the impact of offering people at high risk of heart disease a daily regimen of aspirin, two common blood pressure pills and a cholesterol lowering drug. the cocktail of medicines would cost US$ 47 billion over ten years or an average of US$ 1.08 per person per year.

Heart disease, stroke and diabetes with the twenty three countries studied will cause a loss of US$ 84 billion in economic production between 2006 and 2015 according to World Health Organization (WHO).

The rising burden of chronic disease will be especially severe in low and middle income countries, which are those that can least afford a health related setback to development.

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