November 23, 2016 – Risk of Death


Anchor lead:  A new worldwide analysis reveals the most risky health behaviors, Elizabeth Tracey reports

The Global Burden of Disease study takes a look at global data relative to anything pertaining to health.  The most recent analysis identified top risky behaviors around the world and how they impact on death rates.  Mike Klag, dean of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, says the struggle comes in trying to intervene.

Klag: The top risks are high systolic blood pressure, smoking, high fasting blood glucose.  For many of these we don’t have good population based interventions.  So if you look at smoking for example, what we’ve found is the most effective approach at the population level are taxation of cigarettes and a ban on smoking in public places. For a high fasting blood glucose, we do know that taxation of sugary beverages in Mexico can have a big effect but we need to be looking at public health approaches for these risk factors.  :28

Klag says while some individual interventions are known to have an impact, changing the risks requires a concerted approach on both the prevention and treatment sides.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.