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Salt and cardiovascular disease

By Francesco Cappuccio

Abstract

Blood pressure is the most powerful predictor of stroke and other cardiovascular events. The importance of salt (sodium chloride) intake in determining blood pressure and the incidence of hypertension is well established. Furthermore, randomised controlled clinical trials of moderate reductions in salt intake show a dose dependent cause-effect relation and lack of a threshold effect within usual levels of salt intake in populations worldwide. The effect is independent of age, sex, ethnic origin, baseline blood pressure, and body mass. \ud \ud Prospective studies,2 3 4 5 with one exception,6 also indicate that higher salt intake predicts the incidence of cardiovascular events. While widespread support exists for reducing salt intake to prevent cardiovascular disease, the lack of large and long randomised trials on the effects of salt reduction on clinical outcomes has encouraged some people to argue against a policy of salt reduction in populations.\ud \u

Topics: R1, RC
Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group Ltd.
Year: 2007
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:174

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