Do You Know What The Greatest Risk Factor For Global Death Is?

Do you know what the greatest risk factor for death in men and women is? It’s not smoking and it’s not having a high body mass index. Actually, a newly released study found that the greatest risk factor for death is actually hypertension, or high blood pressure. A research team, led by Dr. Mohammad Hossein Forouzanfar, of the Institute for Health and Metrics Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington in Seattle looked at data from 1990 to 2013 from the Global Burden of Disease, Injuries, and Risk Factor (GBD) study. The team examined 79 modifiable risk factors and data from 188 countries.

Modifiable risk factors accounted for 30.8 million deaths in 2013. This is a steep increase from 1990 when modifiable risk factors accounted for 25.1 million deaths, the team said. In a paper published in The Lancet, the team noted that the number of deaths that could be attributed to high blood pressure increased by nearly 50 percent between 1990 and 2013.

Men’s deaths from high blood pressure increased more than women’s. High blood pressure contributed to 5.4 American men in 2013, which was a 59 percent increase when compared to the deaths from high blood pressure in 1990. By contrast, the deaths from high blood pressure only increased by 39.9 percent among women.

Smoking comes in second as the greatest risk for death, but that too is worse for men than it is for women, according to Medical News Today. High body mass index was noted as the third greatest risk factor for death for both men and women. There was a 63.2 percent increase in mortality from higher body mass indexes between 1990 and 2013, though in this category, the risks were greater for women than men.

Meanwhile, for children under five-years-old, undernutrition remains the leading cause of death.

In an earlier report on the Inquisitr, new research was announced that had been published in PLOS One that wild blueberries had been found to be able to “reduce the development of systemic inflammation and prevent the progression of chronic hypertension.”

On Friday, federal officials announced that new research found that patients who were “assigned to reach a systolic blood pressure goal below 120 — far lower than current guidelines of 140, or 150 for people over 60 — had their risk of heart attacks, heart failure and strokes reduced by a third and their risk of death reduced by nearly a quarter,” according to The New York Times.

Have you gotten your blood pressure checked lately?

[Photo via Pixabay]