Preventing is easier

A third of all deaths are preventable. Information saves lives.

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Exercise

Benefit: very high
Exercise

Exercising can prevent or ameliorate a wide range of health conditions and diseases. It helps maintain a healthy weight and a normal blood pressure. It reduces the risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer by up to 50% and lowers the risk of early death by 30%.

Can prevent: cancer, coronary artery disease, obesity, stroke, diabetes, hypertension, pneumonia

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Do not smoke

Benefit: very high
Do not smoke

Smoking is highly addictive and it harms almost all organs. It is a major risk factor for the most common causes of death. Cigarettes contain about 600 ingredients and when they burn, they generate more than 7,000 chemicals, many of which are poisonous or carcinogenic.

Can prevent: cancer, coronary artery disease, COPD, stroke, diabetes, hypertension, pneumonia

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Maintain a healthy weight

Benefit: very high
Maintain a healthy weight

Being overweight or obese is not only a cosmetic problem, but greatly raises the risk for serious medical conditions. The normal adult body mass index is between 18.5 and 25. Avoid a sedentary lifestyle and sugary drinks, move more, exercise, eat healthy and eat less if needed.

Can prevent: cancer, coronary artery disease, obesity, diabetes, hypertension

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Limit alcohol intake

Benefit: very high
Limit alcohol intake

Alcohol abuse affects both physical and mental health. While a moderate alcohol intake (up to 1 drink/day for women, 2 drinks/day for men) can have health benefits, excessive consumption causes a wide range of psychiatric, neurological and cardiovascular problems, liver disease and other conditions.

Can prevent: cancer, coronary artery disease, stroke, hypertension, accidents

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Eat a balanced diet

Benefit: very high
Eat a balanced diet

A balanced diet is essential for lowering many health risks. Eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, poultry, beans, nuts, and vegetable oils. Limit the intake of sugar, salt, dairy products, refined grains, red meat and processed foods. Avoid junk food, trans fats and sugary drinks.

Can prevent: coronary artery disease, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, pneumonia

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Check blood pressure

Benefit: very high
Check blood pressure

Checking your blood pressure is important because hypertension is the biggest preventable risk factor for premature death and 50% of the hypertensive population worldwide are unaware of their condition. Once diagnosed, high blood pressure can be reduced with lifestyle changes and medication.

Can prevent: coronary artery disease, stroke, hypertension

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Check cholesterol level

Benefit: high
Check cholesterol level

Around 30% of adults have a high level of LDL-cholesterol in the blood, which builds up plaque within the arteries, decreases the blood flow and affects the function of cells and organs. If you are 20 or older, it is recommended to have your cholesterol levels checked every five years.

Can prevent: coronary artery disease, stroke

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Limit sunlight exposure

Benefit: high
Limit sunlight exposure

The ultraviolet radiation in sunlight has both positive and negative effects. It is a principal source of vitamin D, improves endorphin levels and protects against multiple sclerosis. But overexposure is the top risk factor for skin cancer. Limit your sun exposure, especially between 10AM and 4PM.

Can prevent: cancer

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Communicate

Benefit: high
Communicate

Be an active member of your health care team to prevent medical errors, a top cause of death. Share health information, such as allergies and past problems, with your doctors. Find out why a treatment is needed. Speak up if you have questions or concerns and when in doubt, ask for a second opinion.

Can prevent: medical errors

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Keep eyes on the road

Benefit: moderate
Keep eyes on the road

Accidents are the top cause of death for those 1-45 years old. Talking on the phone, reading messages, eating, reaching for objects and other distractions are causing up to 80% of car crashes. Putting down the distractions and staying focused on driving can prevent many injuries and deaths.

Can prevent: accidents

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