High blood pressure and tobacco smoking have been rated the two biggest risk factors for disease in a global study that ranks alcohol as the third-most important risk factor.|
The worldwide study, to be published in The Lancet medical journal, found that high blood pressure was responsible for 9.4 million deaths in 2010 and that smoking killed 6.3 million people.
Alcohol was responsible for another five million deaths worldwide, while dietary factors and physical inactivity were responsible for a further 12.5 million deaths.
Diets low in fruit were the fifth-biggest health risk, while a diet high in sodium was the 11th-biggest health risk.
The study calculated that being overweight or obese was responsible for 3.4 million deaths in 2010, the same number killed by high blood sugar levels.
High cholesterol killed two million people in 2010, while low bone density killed 200,000.
In a striking turnaround, childhood malnutrition, which caused 2.3 million deaths in 1990, dropped to eighth place and caused 860,000 deaths in 2010.
More than 400 researchers across 50 countries helped produce the estimates of the burden of diseases, injuries and risk factors.
They found that close to a quarter of the world's disability burden was due to mental and behavioural disorders such as major depressive disorder, anxiety, Alzheimer's, schizophrenia and bipolar disease.
The Heart Foundation says one in three Australians aged 30-65 has been told by a doctor that they have high blood pressure.
National Cardiovascular Health Director at the Heart Foundation Robert Grenfell said the study added more evidence to an overwhelming case for a national action plan to improve early detection and management of heart, stroke and blood vessel disease.
The plan should include health checks in general practice to detect people at risk and strategies to improve activity levels, he said.
Read more: http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health-fitness/health-risks-on-the-rise-as-diet-choices-take-toll/story-fneuzkvr-1226536397404#ixzz2EwDhhteO