Excessive salt intake connected directly to stroke and cardiovascular disease

Technology.am (Nov 30, 2009) — High salt intake is related with considerably greater danger of both stroke and cardiovascular disease concludes a study available on the British Medical Journal website.

saltThe association linking high salt intake and high blood pressure is well recognized, and it has been recommended that a population-wide lessening in dietary salt intake has the prospective to considerably decrease the levels of cardiovascular disease.

The World Health Organization suggested level of salt consumption is 5 g (about one teaspoon) per day at the population level; however dietary salt intake in the majority of Western countries is close to 10g per day (and much higher in many Eastern European countries).

Joint research conducted by Professor Pasquale Strazzullo at the University of Naples, Italy and Professor Francesco Cappuccio at the University of Warwick, UK analyzed the outcome of 13 published studies concerning over 170,000 people that directly assessed the association between levels of habitual salt intake and rates of stroke and cardiovascular disease.

Their investigation shows clearly that a difference of 5 g a day in routine salt intake is related with a 23% difference in the rate of stroke and a 17% difference in the rate of overall cardiovascular disease.

Based on these results, the authors estimate that reducing every day salt intake by 5 g at the population level could turn away one and a quarter million deaths from stroke and almost three million deaths from cardiovascular disease annually. Additionally, because of ambiguity in measurement of salt intake, these consequence sizes are expected to be underestimated, say the authors.

These results sustain the responsibility of a considerable population decrease in salt intake for the impediment of cardiovascular disease, they conclude. This study is a helpful 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.

* Cardiovascular disease is the primary cause of death and disability in the world amongst people aged over 60 years and the second one amongst those 15 to 59 years old.

* According to the World Health Organization, 62% of all strokes and 49% of coronary heart disease events are attributable to high blood pressure.

* There is a straight causal association between levels of dietary salt intake and levels of blood pressure.

* Majority of the salt we consume comes from that added to food in the manufacturing procedure by industry, caterers and food producers.

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