NEW DELHI, INDIA, December 15, 2012 (The Hindu): The leading risk factors for global disease burden in 2010 were high blood pressure, tobacco smoking (including second-hand smoking) and alcohol use; 20 years earlier, they were childhood underweight, household pollution from solid fuels and tobacco smoking, including passive smoking. Globally, 9.5 million lives were lost in 2010 due to high blood pressure, 6.6 million due to smoking, 5 million each because of diet low in fruits and alcohol use.
Worldwide, the contribution of different risk factors to disease burden has changed substantially, with a shift from risks for communicable diseases in children towards those for non-communicable diseases in adults, according to the latest issue of British medical journal The Lancet.
Dietary risk factors and physical inactivity collectively accounted for 10 per cent of global DALYs (disability adjusted life year) in 2010, with the most prominent dietary risk being diets low in fruits and those high in sodium.
The analysis found that outdoor air pollution in the form of fine particles is a much more significant public health risk than previously known -- contributing annually to over 3.2 million premature deaths worldwide and over 74 million years of healthy life lost. It now ranks among the top global health risk burdens.
The 2010 Global Burden of Disease applies consistent methods to the largest global data base ever assembled to estimate risk of premature mortality and contribution to health burden from a wide variety of risks: smoking, diet, alcohol, HIV/AIDS, household and outdoor air pollution to name a few. The study covers 187 countries globally.