An Ounce of Prevention: Deaths Averted From Primary Prevention Interventions

Publication Abstract

Hermosilla, Sabrina, Stephanie A. Kujawski, Catherine A. Richards, Peter A. Muennig, Sandro Galea, and Abdulrahman M. El-Sayed. 2017. "An Ounce of Prevention: Deaths Averted From Primary Prevention Interventions." American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 52(6): 778-787.

Introduction: The U.S. lags in the nationwide implementation of primary prevention interventions that have been shown to be efficacious. However, the potential population health benefit of widespread implementation of these primary prevention interventions remains unclear.

Methods: The meta-analytic literature from October 2013 to March 2014 of primary prevention interventions published between January 2000 and March 2014 was reviewed. The authors then estimated the number of deaths that could have been averted in the U.S. in 2010 if all rigorously studied, efficacious primary prevention interventions for which population attributable risk proportions could be estimated were implemented nationwide.

Results: A total of 372,054 (15.1%) of all U.S. deaths in 2010 would have been averted if all rigorously studied, efficacious primary prevention interventions were implemented. Two in three averted deaths would have been from cardiovascular disease or malignancy.

Conclusions: A substantial proportion of deaths in the U.S. in 2010 could have been averted if efficacious primary prevention interventions were implemented nationwide. Further investment in the implementation of efficacious interventions is warranted to maximize population health in the U.S.

10.1016/j.amepre.2017.01.002

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