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Research Article

The Preventable Causes of Death in the United States: Comparative Risk Assessment of Dietary, Lifestyle, and Metabolic Risk Factors

  • Goodarz Danaei,

    Affiliations: Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America, Initiative for Global Health, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America

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  • Eric L. Ding,

    Affiliation: Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America

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  • Dariush Mozaffarian,

    Affiliations: Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America

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  • Ben Taylor,

    Affiliations: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, Public Health Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

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  • Jürgen Rehm,

    Affiliations: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, Public Health Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany

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  • Christopher J. L. Murray,

    Affiliation: Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, The University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, United States of America

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  • Majid Ezzati mail

    majid_ezzati@harvard.edu

    Affiliations: Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America, Initiative for Global Health, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America

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  • Published: April 28, 2009
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1000058

Reader Comments (3)

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A Nice contribution to the literature

Posted by DrTodd on 15 Jan 2010 at 03:59 GMT

It's nice to see someone do a good job with this data and confirm that by and large the Surgeon General's reports of the past basically got it right. It's unfortunate that some well-established risk factors (e.g., stress, personality lack of health insurance, low income, toxins) were not included. One way to look at this is to ask individuals to change their lifestyles. Another approach is to change policy (e.g., Europe banning the most dangerous processed foods, the TV ads of the 60's are still the most dramatic smoking prevention method, recognizing that the public health interests such as banning poisonous and addictive substances should take precedence over corporate interests, reduce stress by reducing unfair economic burdens, work related stress, better treatment of mental illness etc. ...).

No competing interests declared.