Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Lower salt intake likely to have had key role in plummeting cardiovascular disease deaths in past decade

Date:
April 14, 2014
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
The 15 percent fall in dietary salt intake over the past decade in England is likely to have had a key role in the 40 percent drop in deaths from heart disease and stroke over the same period, concludes research. But average intake across the nation is still far too high, warn the authors. And much greater effort is needed to curb the salt content of the foods we eat, they insist. Dietary salt is known to increase blood pressure, which is itself a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

The 15% fall in dietary salt intake over the past decade in England is likely to have had a key role in the 40% drop in deaths from heart disease and stroke over the same period, concludes research published in the online journal BMJ Open.

But average intake across the nation is still far too high, warn the authors. And much greater effort is needed to curb the salt content of the foods we eat, they insist.

Dietary salt is known to increase blood pressure, which is itself a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

The authors base their findings on an analysis of data from more than 31,500 people taking part in the Health Survey for England for the years 2003 -- when initiatives to curb population salt intake began across the UK -- 2006, 2008, and 2011.

This survey involves a random representative sample of the adult population of England living in private households, and includes information on diet and blood pressure measurements.

The average population salt intake was calculated from urine collected over a 24 hour period in almost 3000 people who were part of the National Diet and Nutrition Survey between 2003 and 2011. This survey involves random samples of the population.

During this period, nationally collated figures show that stroke deaths fell by 42% while deaths from coronary heart disease dropped by 40% in England.

Similarly, the prevalence of several risk factors for cardiovascular disease also fell, including average cholesterol, blood pressure (3/1.4 mm Hg), and smoking, although average weight (Body Mass Index) rose. And fruit and vegetable consumption rose slightly.

With the exception of increasing weight gain, all these trends, along with better treatment of cardiovascular disease and its risk factors would have probably contributed to the dramatic falls in stroke and heart disease deaths, explain the authors.

But daily salt intake fell by an average of 1.4 g during this period, amounting to a drop of 15%. And among those not taking blood pressure lowering drugs, average blood pressure still fell by 2.7/1.1 mm Hg, even after taking into account other influential factors.

Salt intake was not measured in this particular group, but the substantial fall in salt consumption in the population samples suggests that the decrease in blood pressure would largely have been attributable to less dietary salt rather than to medication, say the authors.

And previously published research suggests that the contribution of blood pressure lowering drugs to population falls in blood pressure is relatively small, they say.

The authors caution that they used several sets of data, involving different people, so were not able to track changes at the individual level, nor were they able to account for physical activity levels.

Nevertheless, they conclude: "The reduction in salt intake is likely to be an important contributor to the falls in blood pressure in England from 2003 to 2011. As a result, the decrease in salt intake would have played an important role in the reduction in stroke and ischaemic heart disease mortality during this period."

And they go on to say that despite considerable progress, 70% of the adult population is still eating more than the recommended 6g/day, with 80% of intake coming from processed foods.

"Therefore, continuing and much greater efforts are needed to achieve further reductions in salt intake to prevent the maximum number of stroke and heart disease deaths," they urge.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. F. J. He, S. Pombo-Rodrigues, G. A. MacGregor. Salt reduction in England from 2003 to 2011: its relationship to blood pressure, stroke and ischaemic heart disease mortality. BMJ Open, 2014; 4 (4): e004549 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2013-004549

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Lower salt intake likely to have had key role in plummeting cardiovascular disease deaths in past decade." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140414191453.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2014, April 14). Lower salt intake likely to have had key role in plummeting cardiovascular disease deaths in past decade. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140414191453.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Lower salt intake likely to have had key role in plummeting cardiovascular disease deaths in past decade." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140414191453.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has set up new guidelines for health workers taking care of patients infected with Ebola. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Where's a body buried? Buster's nose can often tell you. He's a cadaver dog, specially trained to find human remains and increasingly being used by law enforcement and accepted in courts. These dogs are helping solve even decades-old mysteries. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
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