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The World in Medicine
November 16, 2005

Preventing Chronic Disease

JAMA. 2005;294(19):2423. doi:10.1001/jama.294.19.2423-c

Global efforts to tackle chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes could prevent premature deaths of 36 million people over the next 10 years, according to a new report from the World Health Organization.

The report notes that most chronic diseases are caused by a small number of preventable risk factors, such as poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, and tobacco use. Although about 80% of chronic disease deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, the agency said that rapid improvements are achievable through inexpensive measures such as reducing salt in processed foods and taxing tobacco products.

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