Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

America: Time to shake the salt habit?

Date:
March 28, 2013
Source:
Medical College of Wisconsin
Summary:
Medical researchers have written a review paper summarizing data linking excessive sodium intake to increased rates of hypertension, stroke and cardiovascular disease. Is it time for national policy?

The love affair between U.S. residents and salt is making us sick: high sodium intake increases blood pressure, and leads to higher rates of heart attack and strokes. Nonetheless, Americans continue to ingest far higher amounts of sodium than those recommended by physicians and national guidelines.

A balanced review of the relevant literature has been published in the March 27, 2013 edition of The New England Journal of Medicine. Theodore A. Kotchen, MD, professor of medicine (endocrinology), and associate dean for clinical research at the Medical College of Wisconsin, is the lead author of the article.

Dr. Kotchen cites correlations between blood pressure and salt intake in a number of different studies; typically, the causation between lowering salt intake and decreased levels of blood pressure occur in individuals who have been diagnosed with hypertension. Although not as pronounced, there is also a link between salt intake and blood pressure in non-hypertensive individuals. Additionally, recent studies have demonstrated that a reduced salt intake is associated with decreased cardiovascular disease and decreased mortality.

In national studies in Finland and Great Britain, instituting a national salt-reduction program led to decreased sodium intake. In Finland, the resulting decrease in systolic and diastolic blood pressures corresponded to a 75 -- 80 percent decrease in death due to stroke and coronary heart disease.

Nevertheless, not all investigators concur with population-based recommendations to lower salt intake, and the reasons for this position are reviewed.

"Salt is essential for life, but it has been difficult to distinguish salt need from salt preference," said Dr. Kotchen. "Given the medical evidence, it seems that recommendations for reducing levels of salt consumption in the general population would be justifiable at this time." However, in terms of safety, the lower limit of salt consumption has not been clearly identified. In certain patient groups, less rigorous targets for salt reduction may be appropriate.

Co-authors are Allen W. Cowley, Jr., PhD, James J. Smith and Catherine Welsh Smith Professor in Physiology, and Harry and Gertrude Hack Term Professor and chairman of Physiology, the Medical College of Wisconsin; Edward D. Frohlich, MD, Alton Ocshner Distinguished Scientist at the Ochsner Clinic Foundation in New Orleans, La.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Medical College of Wisconsin. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Theodore A. Kotchen, Allen W. Cowley, Edward D. Frohlich. Salt in Health and Disease — A Delicate Balance. New England Journal of Medicine, 2013; 368 (13): 1229 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMra1212606

Cite This Page:

Medical College of Wisconsin. "America: Time to shake the salt habit?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130328091752.htm>.
Medical College of Wisconsin. (2013, March 28). America: Time to shake the salt habit?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130328091752.htm
Medical College of Wisconsin. "America: Time to shake the salt habit?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130328091752.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) — A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Patient Told Hospital He Was from Liberia

Ebola Patient Told Hospital He Was from Liberia

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) — The first Ebola patient diagnosed in the U.S. initially went to a Dallas emergency room last week but was sent home, despite telling a nurse that he had been in disease-ravaged West Africa, the hospital acknowledged Wednesday. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robotic Hair Restoration

Robotic Hair Restoration

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) — A new robotic procedure is changing the way we transplant hair. The ARTAS robot leaves no linear scarring and provides more natural results. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) — A heart monitor the size of a paperclip that can save your life. The “Reveal Linq” allows a doctor to monitor patients with A-Fib on a continuous basis for up to 3 years! Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins