Chronic disease prevention: Health effects and financial costs of strategies to reduce salt intake and control tobacco use
Publication Source


Journal article
Africa, Eastern Mediterranean, Europe, South-East Asia, The Americas, Western Pacific
Economy status
Lower-middle-income economies, Upper-middle-income economies, High-income economies

In 2005, WHO set a global goal to reduce rates of death from chronic (non-communicable) disease by an additional 2% every year. To this end, we investigated how many deaths could potentially be averted over 10 years by implementation of selected population-based interventions, and calculated the fi nancial costs of their
implementation. We selected two interventions: to reduce salt intake in the population by 15% and to implement
four key elements of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). We used methods from the
WHO Comparative Risk Assessment project to estimate shifts in the distribution of risk factors associated with salt intake and tobacco use, and to model the eff ects on chronic disease mortality for 23 countries that account for 80% of chronic disease burden in the developing world. We showed that, over 10 years (2006–2015), 13·8 million deaths could be averted by implementation of these interventions, at a cost of less than US$0·40 per person per year in low-income and lower middle-income countries, and US$0·50–1·00 per person per year in
upper middle-income countries (as of 2005). These two population-based intervention strategies could therefore
substantially reduce mortality from chronic diseases, and make a major (and aff ordable) contribution towards
achievement of the global goal to prevent and control chronic diseases.