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Older woman on beach Health care spending increases significantly with age, with the greatest proportion of risk-attributable spending associated with those aged 65 years and older. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Nearly three-quarters of a trillion dollars in health care spending can be linked to modifiable health risks, such as obesity, high blood pressure, and smoking, according to a new report published in The Lancet Public Health.

The study found that for 2016, modifiable health risks were linked to more than $730 billion in US health care spending. Researchers from the University of Washington and Vitality Group worked together on the study, which found that modifiable health care costs were largely due to five risk factors: overweight and obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, poor diet, and smoking. The Lancet study estimates that more than a quarter of all health care spending in the US annually is due to conditions tied to lifestyle choices—and that these conditions are to some degree preventable.

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