As part of a major re-examination of its organization, in 2004, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) assessed the evidence base for the effectiveness of population-based public health intervention programs.
For the leading causes of disease, injury, and disability, evidence was systematically reviewed for modifiable risk factors and their attributable fractions, and for public health interventions and their preventable fractions.
For 31 conditions, 194 modifiable risk factors were identified, and attributable fractions were found for 65 (33.5%). For 137 (70.6%) of the risk factors, 702 population-based interventions were found. Preventable fractions were found for 31 (4.4%) of the interventions.
Despite considerable information about both modifiable risk factors and interventions designed to reduce the risks of the major causes of disease, injury, and disability, the evidence base that describes the effectiveness of these interventions is limited. The CDC is committed to support research that will set priorities for program development and identify effective public health interventions.