Studies Look at Sodium's World Health Impact
Two new studies add to the discussion about salt and its role in high blood pressure and heart disease. In one study, researchers used data from 66 countries to estimate sodium consumption by age, sex and country. They concluded that the average person consumed about 4,000 milligrams (mg) or 4 grams of sodium daily. They also put together results of more than 100 prior studies. These studies looked at the effects of sodium on blood pressure, and blood pressure on heart disease, stroke and death. Researchers also looked at causes of death in these countries. They concluded that cutting average sodium intake in half would reduce deaths by 1.65 million per year. In the other study, researchers obtained first morning urine samples from 101,945 people. They were from 17 countries. The samples were used to estimate 24-hour sodium levels in urine. The average was nearly 5,000 mg.