A study published online June 10, 2019, by Circulation suggests that scaling up three healthy lifestyle changes could increase the life spans of almost 100 million people around the world. Researchers — led by a team from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health — evaluated global data on death rates, blood pressure levels, the use of blood pressure medications, sodium and trans fat intake, country, age, and gender. They estimated that a worldwide push to lower blood pressure, reduce salt intake by 30%, and eliminate the consumption of trans fat could delay more than 94 million deaths from cardiovascular disease in the next 25 years. More than half of those deaths would be among adults ages 70 or older, and more than half of all deaths would be among men. Regions that would see the most benefit are outside the United States — in East Asia, South Asia, the Pacific, and parts of Africa. But we can all benefit from the three lifestyle changes. Trans fat has already been banned in foods in the United States. But if your blood pressure isn't under control, it's time to talk to your doctor about treatment and to reduce sodium intake to well under 2 grams per day.
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