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Almost half of cancer deaths globally are attributable to preventable risk factors

CNN

August 19, 2022

Jacqueline Howard


Almost half of cancer deaths globally are attributable to preventable risk factors, new study suggests


Globally, nearly half of deaths due to cancer can be attributable to preventable risk factors, including the three leading risks of: smoking, drinking too much alcohol or having a high body mass index, a new paper suggests.


The research, published Thursday in the journal The Lancet, finds that 44.4% of all cancer deaths and 42% of healthy years lost could be attributable to preventable risk factors in 2019.


"To our knowledge, this study represents the largest effort to date to determine the global burden of cancer attributable to risk factors, and it contributes to a growing body of evidence aimed at estimating the risk-attributable burden for specific cancers nationally, internationally, and globally," Dr. Chris Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, and his colleagues wrote in the study.


The paper, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, analyzed the relationship between risk factors and cancer, the second leading cause of death worldwide, using data from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation's Global Burden of Disease project.


The project collects and analyzes global data on deaths and disability. Murray and his colleagues zeroed in on cancer deaths and disability from 2010 to 2019 across 204 countries, examining 23 cancer types and 34 risk factors.

The leading cancers in terms of risk-attributable d