December 19, 2018
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Increased sodium intake associated with CVD death in China

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Systolic BP increases related to high sodium intake contributed to nearly 20% of CVD deaths in a province in China, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

“High intake of sodium is harmful, and the potential benefits of reducing sodium intake are considerable,” Shiwei Liu, PhD, epidemiology professor at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Beijing, said in a press release. “People should control the consumption of salt in their life, including cooking at home and eating out. Medical professionals and other health care providers should help their patients understand that high sodium consumption is one of the most important risks that can lead to cardiovascular disease.”

Liu, along with Jiyu Zhang, MSc, of the Shandong Province Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Jinan, China, and colleagues analyzed data from 1,769 participants from the SMASH study who lived in Shandong for more than 6 months and had available 24-hour urinary sodium data. Researchers also assessed data from 13,272 participants from the same study with available systolic BP data.

The Shandong Death Registration System was used to collect data on the cause of death in 2011. Through all the data, researchers determined the effects of high sodium intake on BP, health outcomes related to elevated BP and CV mortality caused by elevated BP.

The systolic BP increasing effect of high sodium intake, defined as 2,000 mg per day as a reference, was the cause for an estimated 16,100 CVD deaths in participants aged 25 to 69 years (95% uncertainty interval, 11,000-22,600). This accounted for 19.9% of total CVD deaths (95% uncertainty interval, 13.7-25).

A reduction of sodium intake to 3,500 mg per day for each sex and age group would potentially prevent 8,800 CVD deaths associated with the systolic BP effect of high sodium intake (95% uncertainty interval, 6,400-13,600). A sodium intake of 4,000 mg per day would prevention potentially 6,700 CVD deaths (95% uncertainty interval, 4,900-11,600). A 30% reduction in sodium intake would potentially prevent 8,500 CV deaths (95% uncertainty interval, 6,000-10,800).

“The potential benefits of reducing sodium intake are considerable,” Zhang and colleagues wrote. “The implementation of SMASH-like interventions elsewhere in China, even other alike counties, is expected to be helpful in reduction of CVD deaths.” – by Darlene Dobkowski

Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.