The five leading causes of death (heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke and unintentional injuries) are responsible for 900,000 premature deaths each year. But many of these could be prevented according to a new study by the Centers For Disease Control.
The health agency analyzed the number of premature deaths (those before age 80) from the top causes for each state. Researchers then calculated the number of deaths that could have been prevented if each state had the nation’s lowest rates for the five causes. What they found is that more than 259,000 American lives could potentially be saved each year if people took better care of their health.
According to the CDC study, it’s possible to prevent:
- 34 percent of premature deaths from heart diseases, prolonging about 92,000 lives
- 21 percent of premature cancer deaths, prolonging about 84,500 lives
- 39 percent of premature deaths from chronic lower respiratory diseases, prolonging about 29,000 lives
- 33 percent of premature stroke deaths, prolonging about 17,000 lives39 percent of premature deaths from unintentional injuries, prolonging about 37,000 lives
Dr. Bruce, who has spent the last 30 years investigating what does and doesn’t work to prolong life, said this is further evidence that people can make a big difference in their own health. He recommends taking some immediate steps to reduce your risk of premature death.
1. Don’t smoke / quit smoking immediately
2. Don’t ignore symptoms / get regular check-ups and treatment
3. Watch your weight, avoid processed and sugary foods. Make exercise part of your routine.
4. Keep control of your blood pressure and cholesterol
5. Avoid drugs and limit alcohol consumption.
6. Always wear seatbelts and helmets.
These steps have been proven to reduce the likelihood of premature death; increasing your odds at living a long and healthy life.
If you have a question about keeping healthy, Ask Dr. Bruce. Send him your question and he will answer them during NBC4 News at Noon Tuesdays and Thursdays.