HIGH blood pressure, smoking and alcohol abuse are the most dangerous health risks in the world, a major study has shown.
In the space of 20 years, all three have overtaken child hunger to become the leading causes of premature death.
More than nine million people died as a result of high blood pressure in 2010, making it the deadliest single global risk factor.
Smoking accounted for 6.3 million deaths and alcohol consumption 4.9 million deaths.
The average trends masked a lot of regional variation, with different parts of the world experiencing different health problems.
International scientists participating in the Global Burden of Disease Study compared the effects of common health risk factors in 1990 and 2010.
Estimates were made both of the number of deaths attributed to each, and disability-adjusted life years (Dalys), a measurement that takes into account years of life both lost and lived with disability.