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Preventable Causes of Death

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​You have the power to moderate or eliminate many of the top preventable health risk factors that lead to illness or premature death.

Making healthy lifestyle decisions and following a regular schedule of preventive care is the key to better health results and a higher quality of life.

Preventive care also known as preventive medicine places its emphasis on preventing health issues or identifying small problems before they become a major health crisis.

Your Marshfield Clinic doctor will recommend lifestyle changes and screenings that are appropriate for your overall health, age and gender.

Preventive care doesn’t guarantee good health – some illnesses and conditions develop without warning.

However, preventive care and healthy lifestyle decisions give you the best chance to avoid​ or moderate many serious problems.

The list at the bottom of this article, details​ the top preventable risk factors for premature death.

Avoiding each of these preventable risk factors involves either a lifestyle decision or early detection of the problems they cause or both.

Your doctor can help you take the steps necessary to reduce or eliminate these health risks and can identify related or other problems through regular examinations and screening tests.

For most people, making a few healthy lifestyle decisions will greatly reduce or eliminate preventable risk factors. These include:

  • Avoid all tobacco usage in any form 
  • Avoid alcohol or use in moderation 
  • Maintain a healthy weight 
  • Exercise regularly 
  • Eat a healthy diet

Making and maintaining these decisions is easier said than done, but with the help of your Marshfield Clinic doctor, you can prevent or lessen many risk factors for serious illness or premature death.

Preventable causes of death

Smoking: 467,000 deaths

High blood pressure: 395,000 deaths

Overweight-obesity: 216,000 deaths

Inadequate physical activity and inactivity: 191,000 deaths

High blood sugar: 190,000 deaths

High LDL cholesterol: 113,000 deaths

High dietary salt: 102,000 deaths

Low dietary omega-3 fatty acids (seafood): 84,000 deaths

High dietary trans fatty acids: 82,000 deaths

Alcohol use: 64,000 deaths

Low intake of fruits and vegetables: 58,000 deaths

Low dietary poly-unsaturated fatty acids: 15,000 deaths

Harvard University public health researchers concluded these are the leading preventable risk factors for premature death in the United States annually.