High salt intake directly linked to stroke and cardiovascular disease

Nov 24, 2009

High salt intake is associated with significantly greater risk of both stroke and cardiovascular disease, concludes a study published in the BMJ today.

The link between high and is well established, and it has been suggested that a population-wide reduction in dietary salt intake has the potential to substantially reduce the levels of .

The recommended level of is 5 g (about one teaspoon) per day at the population level, yet dietary salt intake in most Western countries is close to 10g per day (and much higher in many Eastern European countries).

Collaborative research conducted by Professor Pasquale Strazzullo at the University of Naples, Italy and Professor Francesco Cappuccio at the University of Warwick, UK analysed the results of 13 published studies involving over 170,000 people that directly assessed the relationship between levels of habitual salt intake and rates of stroke and cardiovascular disease.

Differences in study design and quality were taken into account to minimise bias.

Their analysis shows unequivocally that a difference of 5 g a day in habitual salt intake is associated with a 23% difference in the rate of stroke and a 17% difference in the rate of total cardiovascular disease.

Based on these results, the authors estimate that reducing daily salt intake by 5 g at the population level could avert one and a quarter million deaths from stroke and almost three million deaths from cardiovascular disease each year. Furthermore, because of imprecision in measurement of salt intake, these effect sizes are likely to be underestimated, say the authors.

These results support the role of a substantial population reduction in salt intake for the prevention of , they conclude.

This study is a useful and welcome addition to the medical literature, and strengthens the case for population-wide salt reduction, says Professor Lawrence Appel from Johns Hopkins University, in an accompanying editorial.

Source: British Medical Journal (news : web)

Explore further: New exercise program helps dialysis patients take control of their health

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Eating less salt could prevent cardiovascular disease

Apr 20, 2007

People who significantly cut back on the amount of salt in their diet could reduce their chances of developing cardiovascular disease by a quarter, according to a report in British Medical Journal today.

Reducing kids' salt intake may lower soft drink consumption

Feb 20, 2008

Children who eat less salt drink fewer sugar-sweetened soft drinks and may significantly lower their risks for obesity, elevated blood pressure and later-in-life heart attack and stroke, researchers reported in the print ...

Consuming a little less salt could mean fewer deaths

Mar 11, 2009

For every gram of salt that Americans reduce in their diets daily, a quarter of a million fewer new heart disease cases and over 200,000 fewer deaths would occur over a decade, researchers said at the American Heart Association's ...

Salt intake is strongly associated with obesity

Nov 01, 2006

A study published in the journal “Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases” refutes the frequently repeated claims that a comprehensive salt reduction would not produce any overall health benefits, or would even increase diseases ...

Recommended for you

Colorado proposes edible pot ban, then retreats

58 minutes ago

Colorado health authorities suggested banning many edible forms of marijuana, including brownies, cookies and most candies. Then the officials quickly backtracked after the suggestion went public.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Hunnter
not rated yet Nov 25, 2009
Better and more widely available salt alternatives are what is really needed.

To be perfectly honest, i absolutely love salt, especially crunching it up in the mouth and releasing that flavour.
Admittedly i don't have loads of it, but i certainly do have more than a teaspoonful.
My grandfather loves it too, consuming probably the same amount as i do... and he is in his 70's now.