Saturday, August 13, 2011
ScienceDaily (Aug. 11, 2011) — Speaking ahead of a United Nations High Level Meeting on non-communicable diseases, Professor Francesco Cappuccio from Warwick Medical School argues that lowering dietary salt intake has the potential to save millions of lives globally by substantially reducing levels of heart disease and strokes.
New research by Professor Cappuccio revealed this week in the the British Medical Journal (BMJ) shows that in the UK, a reduction of 3 grams of salt intake per day would prevent up to 8,000 stroke deaths and up to 12,000 coronary heart disease deaths per year in the UK.
A similar reduction in the USA would result in up to 120,000 fewer cases of coronary heart disease, up to 66,000 strokes and up to 99,000 heart attacks annually. It would also save up to $24 billion annually in health care costs.
The World Health Organisation has set a global goal to reduce dietary salt intake to less than 5 g (about one teaspoon) per person per by 2025, yet salt intake in many countries is currently much higher than this. The average daily intake in the UK is currently just under 9 g. The question, though, is not whether to reduce salt intake, but how to do so effectively?