Even though the Japanese have the world's highest life expectancy,
smoking and high blood pressure (BP) still remain the biggest
health hazards, reveals a study.
An analytical study, led by Nayu Ikeda from the University of
Tokyo, found that in 2007, tobacco smoking and high BP among
adults aged 30 years and above accounted for 129,000 and 104,000
deaths respectively in Japan.
Physical inactivity took 52,000 lives, high blood glucose and high
dietary salt intake accounted for 34,000 lives, and alcohol use
reported 31,000 deaths, the journal Public Library of
Furthermore, the authors found that life expectancy at age 40
would have been extended by 1.4 years for both sexes if exposure
to multiple cardiovascular risk factors had been reduced to an
optimal level, said a university statement.
In order to sustain the trend of longevity in Japan in the 21st
century, additional efforts in a variety of fields are required
for decreasing adult mortality from chronic diseases and injuries.
"A first step will be to powerfully promote effective programs for
smoking cessation," said Ikleda.
Tobacco smoking is deeply rooted in Japanese society, but the
authors argue that health professionals can play a big role.