HealthDay News — Meeting targets to reduce six risk factors has the potential to prevent 37 million deaths from the four main noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) — cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, cancer and diabetes, according to researchers.

These six risk factors include tobacco use, alcohol consumption, obesity, high glucose levels, hypertension and dietary salt intake, Vasilis Kontis, PhD, and colleagues reported in The Lancet.

“More than 37 million patients aged 30 to 69 years and 21 million patients aged 70 years or older could decrease their risk of dying from the four main NCDs over the next 15 years,” the researchers wrote.

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Using country data and previous epidemiological studies, the researchers estimated the impact of achieving targets for reducing six risk factors on NCD mortality between 2010 and 2025.

Meeting targets for reducing these six risk factors would decrease the probability of dying from cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, cancer and diabetes a projected 22% for men and 19% for women aged 30 to 70 years.

Comparatively, mortality associated with these four NCDs is projected to decline 11% in men and 10% in women modeling current trends with no additional action, the researchers determined.

“If the agreed risk factor targets are met, premature mortality from the four main NCDs will decrease, with most of these benefits seen in low-income and middle-income countries,” wrote the researchers.