Gradual Reduction of Salt Intake Would Significantly Lower Mortality Rates
- 2/13/2013 - 11:39am
- 268 reads
A computer simulation conducted by the University of California San Francisco has found that as many as 275,000 to 505,000 deaths in the United States could be prevented by gradually reducing the nation’s salt intake over the next decade.
Researchers noted that while a 4% annual decrease in the nation’s salt intake could save up to half a million lives in 10 years, an immediate drop from the current 3,600 mg per day average to the FDA guideline-recommended 1,500 mg a day would prevent 1.2 million deaths over the same time.
To test the effects of salt reduction through various means, the researchers created 3 computer simulations: gradual 4% annual reduction over 10 years, instant 40% reduction sustained for 10 years, and instant reduction to 1500 mg per day.
They argued that while the former 2 tests showed the greatest mortality benefits, they were not feasible methods for salt reduction. Gradual reduction, however, has proven possible in both the United Kingdom and in Finland in the past.
“A gradual reduction in dietary sodium over the next decade as might be achieved with a range of proposed public health interventions would yield considerable health benefits over the next decade,” they concluded.
Coxson P, Cook N, Joffres M, et al. Mortality Benefits From US Population-wide Reduction in Sodium Consumption [published online ahead of print February 11, 2013]. Hypertension. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.111.201293