Just a Pinch of Salt

April 4, 2014 in LifeCare Health Services

In a recent study in the journal Hypertension, the research team estimates that a reduction in sodium intake throughout the United States could lengthen a quarter to half a million lives.

Three different modeling approaches were used to evaluate the effects of the salt reduction over a 10-year period. The first scenario used a gradual reduction totaling 40% over the 10 years. The second and third models both had instantaneous reductions: the second by 40% and the third down to 1500mg of sodium per day, a decrease of over 50%. The effects on cardiovascular disease and blood pressure, as well as epidemiological studies, were taken into account in all three scenarios.

Each of the methods show substantial health benefits with an average of 280,000 to 500,000 lives prolonged from a decrease in sodium intake. Projections from the instantaneous reduction models estimate the number of deaths that would be averted to over 1 million.

Source: Coxson P, Cook N, Joffres M, et al. Mortality benefits from US population-wide reduction in sodium consumption. Projections from 3 modeling approaches. Hypertension. 2013; 61: 564-570.

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