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Suggestions to reduce global heart disease burden

Heart disease is one of the major killers and both in developed and developing countries heart disease leads to millions of years of healthy life lost - through premature death and disability. Researchers at the World Health Organization have put forward a number of measures that could reduce the number of years lost to heart disease. According to these researchers, preventive measures could be divided// into non-personal and personal. Non-personal measures include those like media campaigns to persuade people to stop smoking, while personal measures are tailored towards the individual. Typically, this might involve someone taking medication to control their blood pressure. The WHO team has been studying the potential impact of these measures and have found that a wide range of interventions could really reduce the future burden of heart disease. They said that non-personal health initiatives like getting manufacturers to limit the salt content in foods could give back over 21 million 'disability adjusted years of life' (DALYs, which are - put simply - years of healthy life) a year worldwide. Combined cholesterol and blood pressure lowering therapy for individuals at high risk might reduce the impact of heart disease by 63 million DALYs a year. They concluded that a good way of motivating governments, doctors and individuals to accept these measures is to make them aware of the global figures on the potential impact of interventions.


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