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Table 2 10 leading risk factors for the European region, exposure variables, theoretical minima, and contributions to total disease burden in the European region (source: Table 1 and Figure 1 in Ezzati et al. 1). See Table 1 in Ezzati et al. 1 for disease outcomes and data sources.

From: The contribution of leading diseases and risk factors to excess losses of healthy life in eastern Europe: burden of disease study

Risk Factor Exposure Variable Theoretical Minimum Contribution to European disease burden (%GBD)
High blood pressure Level of systolic blood pressure 115 SD 6 mmHg 12.8%
Tobacco Current levels of smoking impact ratio (indirect indicator of accumulated smoking risk based on excess lung cancer mortality); oral tobacco use prevalence No tobacco use 12.3%
Alcohol Current alcohol consumption volumes and patterns No alcohol use b 10.1%
High cholesterol Level of total blood cholesterol 3.8 SD 1 mmol/l (147 SD 39 mg/dl) 8.7%
High body mass index (BMI) Body mass index, BMI (height over weight squared) 21 SD 1 kg/m2 7.8%
Low fruit and vegetable intake Fruit and vegetable intake per day 600 g (SD 50 g) intake per day for adults 4.4%
Physical inactivity Three categories of inactive, insufficiently active (<2.5 hours per week of moderate-intensity activity, or less than 4000 KJ/week), and sufficiently active. Activity in discretionary-time, work, and transport considered All having at least 2.5 hours per week of moderate-intensity activity or equivalent (400 KJ/week) 3.5%
Illicit drugs Use of amphetamine, cocaine, heroin or other opioids and intravenous drug use No illicit drug use 1.6%
Lead Current blood lead levels 0.016 μg/dl blood lead levels c 0.8%
Unsafe sex Sex with an infected partner without any measures to prevent infection (represented as parameters of an HIV model) No unsafe sex 0.7%
  1. a The resulting haemoglobin levels vary across regions and age-sex groups (from 11.66 g/dl in under-5 children in SEAR-D to >14.5 g/dl in adult males in developed countries) because the other risks for anaemia (e.g. malaria) vary.
  2. b Theoretical minimum for alcohol is zero, the global theoretical minimum. Specific sub-groups may have a non-zero theoretical minimum.
  3. c Theoretical minimum for lead is the blood lead levels expected at background exposure levels. Health effects were quantified for blood lead levels above 5 μg/dl where epidemiological studies have quantified hazards.