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Infographic – Greatest Human Health Risks

Human health risks ranked

Human health risks ranked. Click on image for full-size view. (Univ. of Chicago, Statista)

24 Nov. 2018. Biomedical research is the topic we cover the most on Science & Enterprise, driven by large-scale public and private investments in this field. These investments are often dictated by unmet medical needs and public health risks, and we’ve reported often on research into threats such as smoking, substance abuse, malaria, and HIV-AIDS.

It turns out the greatest current risk to the world’s health may be in the air we breathe. Earlier this week, a group at University of Chicago published its Air Quality Life Index, which our friends at Statista republished in graphic form, this weekend’s infographic. The data show air pollution, especially particulate pollution exceeding WHO guidelines, as the leading risk to public health, taking 1.8 years off of our average life expectancy. Smoking is not far behind at 1.6 years.

Cities in China and India receive the most attention about this problem, but the recent wildfires in Northern California are also taking a toll on air quality, including in the Bay area.

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