Diets high in salt linked to 1.6m heart deaths


Eating a diet that contains a lot of salt has been connected to more than 1.6m deaths around the world by a US study.1

The research, which was carried out by several US universities, modelled the effects of salt on the cardiovascular system.

Researchers used estimates on global sodium consumption, the effect of salt on blood pressure, and also the relationship between high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. This information was used to estimate how many cardiovascular deaths were caused by a sodium intake of over 2 g a day.

The research found the average amount of sodium consumed globally each day was 3.95 g, and if this was reduced it would see a significant fall in blood pressure levels, depending on other factors such as race and age. This information was then used to estimate that one in 10 cardiovascular deaths were linked to eating more than 2 g of sodium a day.

In 2010, 1.65 million people are estimated to have died due to cardiovascular disease related to sodium intake in excess of 2 g per day. To eat this much sodium, they would need to consume roughly 5 g of salt a day, which is still under the maximum amount of 6 g advised in the UK.

Reference:

1 Tufts University (via EurekAlert). Estimated 1.65 million global cardiovascular deaths each year linked to high sodium consumption. Published August 14 2014