A worldwide effort to improve the management of hypertension, cut sodium intake and eliminate trans fat from the diet could dramatically reduce the incidence of premature death from cardiovascular disease (CVD) over a quarter century, according to new research published in Circulation.
Using global data from multiple studies and estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO), researchers quantified the global mortality impact of three interventions, namely: scaling up treatment of hypertension to 70 per cent, reducing sodium intake by 30 per cent and eliminating the intake of artificial trans fatty acids.
They found increasing coverage of anti-hypertensive medications to 70 per cent alone would delay 39.4 million deaths, reducing sodium intake by 30 per cent would delay another 40.0 million deaths and eliminating trans fat would delay an additional 14.8 million.
"Focusing our resources on the combination of these three interventions can have a huge potential impact on cardiovascular health through 2040," said lead author Goodarz Danaei, associate professor of global health at Harvard Chan School. "These are realistic goals that have been shown to be attainable on smaller scales," said Danaei. "We need the commitment to scale up the programmes to achieve them globally."