Global disease: The top risk factors -

Global disease: The top risk factors

High blood pressure, smoking, alcohol use, air pollution … Amanda Shendruk on the latest from the Lancet


The well-respected medical journal the Lancet published the world’s largest ever systematic study of global disease. The extremely extensive report contains a wealth of data, and the Lancet’s editor-in-chief  describes it as “a critical contribution to our understanding of present and future health priorities for countries and the global community.”

Within the study, there is an extensive and fascinating section on mortality risks and causes. We all know that the world will soon end so the report won’t be relevant for long, but until then, the below list ranks the top 15 global risk factors and their change in rank since 1990.


For a more detailed look at risks closer to home, the graphic below ranks the top fifteen risk factors for high-income North America.

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Global disease: The top risk factors

  1. All the risk factors stated above do put people at risk and well organized useful information. It is unfortunate we try to fix those with pills and un-enforceable legislation that attack freedoms. The above mentioned risks are completely and entirely symptoms of the only 4 conditions that exist as a natural response to nations becoming or being developed manual labor is needed less and there becomes an excess of all things such as food, alcohol, sedative entertainment, etc. The conditions that need to be addressed are;

    1 – Use aggressive education programs to correct the lack of understanding of how to best take care of one’s health and those in their family through nutrition, stress management, exercise, sleep, and physical activity.

    2 – Provide the education with the proper support to eliminate the lack of willingness to do something about it.

    3 – The lack of the means, from a economic perspective, has to be address at the community level only so each community can implement workable solutions that only the community can commit to. Federal or state level programs fail because at those levels the solution has to be too general for it to be agreed upon and is not specific to each
    person’s needs in a community to be of any value.

    4 – Genetic conditions lead to predisposition to many potential issues will remain until case by case issues are understood and addressed with specific preventative measures. As an example, consuming a large percentage of calories from processed foods leads to autoimmune diseases because it taxes the bodies system to break it down and absorb what little value it actually provides. This leads to rampant development of allergies which we witness more and more often as time passes. Our food supply has to change in a way to enhance our bodies through better quality food choices seasoned with beneficial spices and stray away from tasty additives like nutrient poor salts, sugars, and fats.

    I love cake, but I know I should not have a steady diet of it and lay around all day. Once in a while is more than okay. So, the rest of the time I like to eat healthy yet tasty foods and entertain myself, at 34 years old, with soccer and tennis. When I do that, I actually feel
    better and have more energy which creates more success in other parts of my life. It is not difficult to do. But I have been very fortunate to have been led in my life to be led to this conclusion and been able to enjoy the ability to acquire the right foods and participate in the right activities.

  2. @ James Knapp – Is lack of education really an issue? The fundamentals of a healthy lifestyle are quite simple, and are essentially unchanged for the last at least 50 years. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Don’t smoke. Take it easy on the booze. Keep your weight under control. Get some exersize. That’s really about it. All the other stuff is really just tinkering at the margins. And I’d be surprised if the vast majority of people aren’t already well aware of this.
    I’m not saying it is easy to actually do these things, but pretty much everyone knows what you are supposed to do. So I am skeptical that there is much left for education to do.
    Similarly, it doesn’t seem to be an economic issue as best I can tell. Thanks to grocery stores, there is an abundant source of high quality, inexpensive food all year round. Exercise costs next to nothing.
    So I think the sollutions are already there, and are in fact obvious. The trick is convincing people to do it.