Washington: A new study has revealed that more than 1.6 million cardiovascular-related deaths per year can be attributed to sodium consumption above the World Health Organization's recommendation of 2.0g (2,000mg) per day, researchers have found in a new analysis evaluating populations across 187 countries.
Dariush Mozaffarian said that high sodium intake is known to increase blood pressure, a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases including heart disease and stroke, however, the effects of excess sodium intake on cardiovascular diseases globally by age, sex, and nation had not been well established.
The researchers, who collected and analyzed existing data from 205 surveys of sodium intake in countries representing nearly three-quarters of the world's adult population, found the average level of global sodium consumption in 2010 to be 3.95g per day, nearly double the 2.0g recommended by the World Health Organization.
All regions of the world were above recommended levels, with regional averages ranging from 2.18g per day in sub-Saharan Africa to 5.51g per day in Central Asia. In their meta-analysis of controlled intervention studies, the researchers found that reduced sodium intake lowered blood pressure in all adults, with the largest effects identified among older individuals, blacks, and those with pre-existing high blood pressure.
The study found that four out of five global deaths attributable to higher than recommended sodium intakes occurred in middle- and low-income countries and programs to reduce sodium intake could provide a practical and cost effective means for reducing premature deaths in adults around the world.