Salt and high blood pressure.

Departments of Medicine and Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Clinical Science (Impact Factor: 5.63). 08/2009; 117(1):1-11. DOI: 10.1042/CS20080207
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT HBP (high blood pressure) is the leading risk of death in the world. Unfortunately around the world, blood pressure levels are predicted to become even higher, especially in developing countries. High dietary salt is an important contributor to increased blood pressure. The present review evaluates the association between excess dietary salt intake and the importance of a population-based strategy to lower dietary salt, and also highlights some salt-reduction strategies from selected countries. Evidence from diverse sources spanning animal, epidemiology and human intervention studies demonstrate the association between salt intake and HBP. Furthermore, animal studies indicate that short-term interventions in humans may underestimate the health risks associated with high dietary sodium. Recent intervention studies have found decreases in cardiovascular events following reductions in dietary sodium. Salt intake is high in most countries and, therefore, strategies to lower salt intake could be an effective means to reduce the increasing burden of HBP and the associated cardiovascular disease. Effective collaborative partnerships between governments, the food industry, scientific organizations and healthcare organizations are essential to achieve the WHO (World Health Organization)-recommended population-wide decrease in salt consumption to less than 5 g/day. In the milieu of increasing cardiovascular disease worldwide, particularly in resource-constrained low- and middle-income countries, salt reduction is one of the most cost-effective strategies to combat the epidemic of HBP, associated cardiovascular disease and improve population health.

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