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AHA: Mean Global Sodium Intake Almost 4,000 mg/Day

Second study indicates nearly 2.3 million heart-related deaths due to excess sodium intake

THURSDAY, March 21 (HealthDay News) -- The mean global sodium intake is almost double the level recommended by the World Health Organization, which has a significant impact on cardiovascular disease, according to two studies presented at the American Heart Association's Epidemiology & Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity & Metabolism 2013 Scientific Sessions, held from March 19 to 22 in New Orleans.

Saman Fahimi, M.D., M.Phil., from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues conducted a systematic review of 247 surveys of adult sodium intake from 66 countries. The researchers found that the mean global sodium intake was 3.95 g per day in 2010, with considerable heterogeneity by sex and country. In 97 and 95 percent of countries, the mean sodium intakes of adult men and women, respectively, were more than 2 g/day. From 1990 to 2010, the global sodium intake increased by 124 mg/day, with an increase of more than 100 mg/day in 83 countries and a decrease of more than 100 mg/day in 15 countries.

Dariush Mozaffarian, M.D., Dr.P.H., from Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues used data from the same surveys to examine the global impact of excess sodium intake on blood pressure-related cardiovascular disease. The researchers found that the mean global sodium intake was 4.0 g/day in 2010, with regional variation from 2.2 to 5.6 g/day. In 2010, nearly 2.3 million deaths were attributable to excess sodium intake, including 42 percent due to heart attacks and 41 percent to stroke. More than 80 percent of these deaths were seen in low- and mid-income countries.

"National and global public health measures, such as comprehensive sodium reduction programs, could potentially save millions of lives," Mozaffarian said in a statement.

Several authors from the Fahimi study disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical, medical technology, and nutrition industries. One author from the Mozaffarian study disclosed financial ties to Unilever.

Press Release - Fahimi
Press Release - Mozaffarian
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