Posted on Mon, 14 Dec 09
Every year there are 3.5 million deaths from stroke; one way to powerfully reduce your risk is to cut daily salt intake. Reduction in salt consumption has been shown to reduce blood pressure which in turn reduces risk for both stroke and heart disease.
Salt linked to increased risk for stroke
In a large scale analysis of 177,025 people across 6 different countries, high salt intake was associated with a higher risk of heart disease and a significantly higher risk of stroke. It was estimated that a 5 gram reduction in daily salt intake could avert one and a quarter million deaths from stroke and almost three million deaths from cardiovascular disease worldwide.
A strong case for salt reduction
Salt intake in most Western countries is close to 10 grams daily, The World health Organization however recommends an intake of no more than 5 grams of salt daily. Previous efforts to reduce salt intake in public health policy have been met by opposition from the food industry. In a commentary on these findings, Lawrence J. Appel, MD, from Johns Hopkins University points out that “the case for population-wide salt reduction is now stronger. A reduced intake of salt not only lowers blood pressure but also prevents its major sequelae—stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.”
1. Strazzullo P, D'Elia L, Kandala NB, Cappuccio FP. Salt intake, stroke, and cardiovascular disease: meta-analysis of prospective studies. BMJ. 2009 Nov 24;339:b4567.
2. Appel LJ. The case for population-wide salt reduction gets stronger. BMJ. 2009 Nov 24;339:b4980.