Major Health Organizations Identify 11 Life-saving Preventive Strategies
Article date: July 8, 2008
Following 11 preventive health strategies over the next 30 years could add an average of 1.3 years onto a US adult's life expectancy, according to a new report by researchers from 3 top health organizations. Approximately three-fourths of US adults could benefit from adopting at least one of these life-saving preventive activities, the scientists say.
The study was led by the Preventive Health Partnership (PHP), a collaborative group that includes the American Cancer Society (ACS), American Heart Association (AHA), and American Diabetes Association (ADA). The group's findings will appear in the July 29th issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association and in the August issue of Diabetes Care.
This particular paper looks exclusively at the impact of preventive strategies on reducing heart disease. The researchers plan a future report, which will examine how these strategies can be used to reduce the risk associated with cancer and diabetes, too.
"This research has important implications for the work our three organizations are doing to broaden access to care, including preventive services, and to promote the role of prevention in the national debate on healthcare reform," said Otis W. Brawley, MD, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society. "We expect that these impressive findings will only grow stronger when we're able to show the additional impact on reducing the risk of developing and dying from cancer."
The Current Study
Using a sophisticated mathematical tool known as Archimedes, the researchers evaluated common clinical strategies for preventing heart disease, such as taking aspirin or cholesterol- and blood pressure-lowering medications, quitting smoking, and weight reduction. They also looked at the impact of combinations of these strategies.
The researchers found that 78% of US adults are strong candidates for at least 1 of the 11 activities, and that there are large gaps in the application of prevention strategies. If every person were to adopt all prevention activities they are candidates for, the researchers found, the number of heart attacks would be reduced by 63% and the number of strokes by 31% in the next 30 years.
According to the Archimedes model, the 11 strategies vary considerably in their effectiveness. Each also comes with a different price tag. For these strategies to really have an impact, more must be done to keep costs in check, perhaps by developing less expensive interventions, the researchers say.
For more information about the Preventive Health Partnership (PHP), visit the Everyday Choices Web site.
Citation: "The Impact of Prevention on Reducing the Burden of Cardiovascular Disease." First authors: Richard Kahn, PhD; Rose Marie Robertson, MD, FAHA; Robert Smith, PhD; David Eddy, MD, PhD. Published online July 7, 2008 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.
Reviewed by: Members of the ACS Medical Content Staff
ACS News Center stories are provided as a source of cancer-related news and are not intended to be used as press releases.
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