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Preventable factors responsible for significant global health burden


Evelyn Lewin


22/11/2018 3:08:04 PM

Risk factors for global burden diseases are responsible for 61% of deaths and 1.21 billion disability-adjusted life-years, according to the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017.

Findings from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017 align with the RACGP’s Smoking, nutrition, alcohol, physical activity (SNAP) guidelines.
Findings from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017 align with the RACGP’s Smoking, nutrition, alcohol, physical activity (SNAP) guidelines.

A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Study 2017, published this month in The Lancet, has found that 34.1 million deaths and 1.21 billion disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) were attributable to GBD risk factors in 2017.
 
This translates to 61% of deaths and 48% of DALYs globally.
 
When ranked by risk-attributable DALYs, high-systolic blood pressure (SBP) was the leading risk factor, accounting for 10.4 million deaths and 218 million DALYs.
 
The remainder of the five leading risk factors were smoking, high-fasting plasma glucose, high body-mass index and short gestation for birthweight.
 
Socioeconomic development was strongly associated with exposure levels for many risks. Among the leading risks, unsafe water and household air pollution show pronounced decreasing trends with development.
 
Conversely, smoking, alcohol use, drug use, and high low-density lipoprotein cholesterol all show a pronounced increasing trend with development, as is the case in Australia.
 
The study found increasing exposure to metabolic risks is driving increases in burden, highlighting a critical need for risk mitigation policies in this area.
 
These findings align with the RACGP’s Smoking, nutrition, alcohol, physical activity (SNAP) guidelines, which aim to target those risk factors which affect the Australian population.
 
According to the SNAP guidelines, smoking is the risk factor responsible for the greatest burden of disease (9.7%) in Australia.
 
Poor nutrition is also contributing to the burden of disease, with most Australians (91%) not eating enough vegetables and only half of the population consuming enough fruit.
 
Alcohol consumption accounted for 3.3% of the total burden of disease and injury in 2003, while physical inactivity was responsible for nearly 7% of the total burden of disease and injury, accounting for approximately 13,500 deaths in Australia in 2003.
 
The SNAP risk factors are common in patients attending general practice in Australia.
 
Of Australian adult patients attending a general practice appointment in 2013–14, 62.7% were overweight or obese; 13.5% were daily smokers; 23% drank ‘at risk’ levels of alcohol; and only 43% of adults performed at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days.
 
Since 2010, the GBD Study has produced comprehensive assessments of risk factor burden by age, sex, cause, and location. The 2017 GBD Study built on the 2016 findings, adding one new risk factor – bullying victimisation – and 80 new risk-outcome pairs.



global burden of disease lifestyle factors SNAP guide the lancet





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