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Salt Restriction May Reduce Cardiovascular Disease

Long-term risk found to be 25 percent lower in patients who decreased salt intake by one-third

FRIDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who reduce their dietary sodium intake by about one-third could significantly reduce their chances of developing cardiovascular disease, according to a study published online April 20 in the BMJ.

Nancy R. Cook, Sc.D., of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues studied 744 prehypertensive enrollees from the first Trial of Hypertension Prevention, which was completed in 1990, and 2,382 prehypertensive enrollees from the second Trial of Hypertension Prevention, which ended in 1995. The intervention participants decreased their sodium intake by 44 mmol/24 hours and 33 mmol/24 hours, respectively.

After 10 to 15 years, the researchers found that 200 of the 2,415 subjects available for follow-up had developed a cardiovascular condition. They found that the intervention groups were 25 percent less likely to develop cardiovascular conditions and had a 20 percent lower mortality rate than the control groups who did not restrict salt intake.

"The observed reduction in cardiovascular risk associated with this sodium decrease was substantial and provides strong support for population-wide reduction in dietary sodium intake to prevent cardiovascular disease," the authors concluded.

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