Researchers from the Universities of Warwick and Liverpool in a report published on Thursday in the British Medical Journal called for the U.N. to “make reducing salt intake a global health priority,” stating that “a 15 percent cut in consumption could save 8.5 million lives around the world over the next decade,” BBC News reports. “The researchers say there is a ‘consistent, direct relation between salt intake and blood pressure,'” which “in turn is linked to heart disease, stroke and kidney problems,” and “[t]hey point to the U.S., where cutting salt intake by a third would save tens of thousands of lives and save up to $24 billion annually in health care costs,” the news agency reports.
Non Communicable Disease/Chronic Disease
“The rise of non-communicable diseases (NCDs)” is “a growing but under-addressed challenge in both the developed and developing world,” Jean-Luc Butel, executive vice president and group president for Medtronic’s international operations, writes in a Muskegon Chronicle opinion piece. “[S]hifting demographics, lifestyles and environmental factors in places like China and India have led to a dramatic increase in NCDs,” he writes, adding that “[e]stimates suggest NCDs will account for three out of every four deaths globally by 2030.”
CDC Director Thomas Frieden, who currently is visiting India and who previously worked with the Indian government assisting in tuberculosis (TB) control, praised the country’s “progress in controlling tuberculosis and tobacco use” on Monday during a speech to health practitioners and policymakers, according to the Wall Street Journal’s “India Real Time” blog. Frieden also noted “India’s strides in the past decade on â€¦ polio control and HIV/AIDS prevention,” the blog reports.
In a report (.pdf) released on Tuesday, the World Bank urged China to step up its efforts to fight non-communicable diseases (NCDs), “the main cause of death in the country, warning of rising health expenditure and an economic slowdown if rapid action is not taken,” Reuters reports.
Russia is aiming to cut the number of smokers in the country by up to 15 percent by 2050, “huge ambitions considering 40 percent of Russians light up,” VOA News reports.
Laws that require graphic health warnings on tobacco packaging impact more than one billion people in 19 countries, but more needs to be done to cut smoking rates worldwide, the WHO said Thursday in its third report on the global tobacco epidemic, Reuters reports (Kelland, 7/7).
“A committee of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection has concluded after a comprehensive review that there is little cause for concern about the suggested link between mobile phone use and brain tumors,” BMJ reports (Watts, 7/4).
The number of adults with type 2 diabetes has doubled worldwide over the last three decades, rising from 153 million in 1980 to 347 million, “a sign that the epidemic will impose an ever-greater cost burden on health systems,” according to a study published on Saturday in the Lancet, the Wall Street Journal reports (Naik, 6/27).
“Alzheimer’s experts urged U.S. lawmakers on Thursday to increase funding for research of the debilitating disease and to push international policymakers to pay more attention to its global impact,” Reuters reports (Steenhuysen, 6/23).
“Nearly a half-century after U.S. cigarette packs were emblazoned with their first, modest warning, ‘Caution: Cigarette Smoking May be Hazardous to Your Health,’ the Food and Drug Administration – at Congress’ behest – is â€¦ requiring tobacco companies to print painful images, such as that of a man smoking through a hole in his throat or of a lip eroded by cancer and a mouthful of rotting teeth, right on their cigarette packs,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reports (Gelles, 6/22).