Eating too much salt led to 2.3 million heart-related deaths worldwide in 2010

March 21, 2013, American Heart Association

Eating too much salt contributed to 2.3 million deaths from heart attacks, strokes and other heart-related diseases throughout the world in 2010, representing 15 percent of all deaths due to these causes, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism 2013 Scientific Sessions.

The researchers analyzed 247 surveys of adult , stratified by age, gender, region and country between 1990 and 2010 as part of the 2010 Global Burden of Diseases Study, an international collaborative study by 488 scientists from 303 institutions in 50 countries around the world.

Next, they determined how the amount of people were consuming was affecting their , by performing a meta-analysis of 107 randomized, prospective trials that measured how sodium affects blood pressure, and a meta-analysis of how these differences in blood pressure relate to the risk of developing cardiovascular disease compared with consuming no more than 1,000 mg per day of sodium, which the researchers defined as an optimal amount of sodium for adults. Cardiovascular disease includes all diseases of the heart and , including .

Nearly 1 million of these deaths – 40 percent of the total—were premature, occurring in people 69 years of age and younger. Sixty percent of the deaths occurred in men and 40 percent were in women. Heart attacks caused 42 percent of the deaths and strokes 41 percent. The remainder resulted from other types of cardiovascular disease. Eighty-four percent of these deaths due to eating too much sodium were in low and middle-income countries, rather than high-income countries.

"National and global public health measures, such as comprehensive sodium reduction programs, could potentially save millions of lives," said Dariush Mozaffarian, M.D., Dr.P.H., lead author of the study and co-director of the Program in and associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health.

Among the 30 largest countries in the world, those with the highest death rates (per million adults) due to over consuming sodium were:

  • Ukraine – 2,109
  • Russia – 1,803
  • Egypt – 836
Among all countries, the three countries with the lowest death rates (per million adults) due to over consuming sodium were:
  • Qatar – 73
  • Kenya – 78
  • United Arab Emirates – 134
The U.S. ranked 19th out of the 30 largest countries, with 429 deaths per million adults due to eating too much sodium (representing 1 in 10 US deaths due to these causes).

The recommends limiting sodium in your diet to no more than 1,500 mg a day, and has tips on how to reduce the amount of sodium in your diet, as well as information on six commonly consumed foods that are high in sodium.

Explore further: Adults worldwide eat almost double daily AHA recommended amount of sodium

Related Stories

Adults worldwide eat almost double daily AHA recommended amount of sodium

March 21, 2013
Seventy-five percent of the world's population consumes nearly twice the daily recommended amount of sodium (salt), according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism ...

Reducing sodium in US may save hundreds of thousands of lives over 10 years

February 11, 2013
Less sodium in the U.S. diet could save 280,000 to 500,000 lives over 10 years, according to new research in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension.

180,000 deaths worldwide may be associated with sugary soft drinks

March 19, 2013
Sugar-sweetened sodas, sports drinks and fruit drinks may be associated with about 180,000 deaths around the world each year, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition, ...

New studies reinforce American Heart Association's stand on limiting sodium

November 2, 2012
New studies support limiting daily sodium consumption to less than 1,500 milligrams, according to a new American Heart Association presidential advisory.

Otago research reveals most Kiwis eating too much salt

December 2, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- Nearly two-thirds (65%) of adult New Zealanders are consuming more sodium than current nutrition guidelines recommend, according to analysis of urine samples taken from 3000 people who took part in the ...

Recommended for you

Researchers borrow from AIDS playbook to tackle rheumatic heart disease

January 22, 2018
Billions of US taxpayer dollars have been invested in Africa over the past 15 years to improve care for millions suffering from the HIV/AIDS epidemic; yet health systems on the continent continue to struggle. What if the ...

A nanoparticle inhalant for treating heart disease

January 18, 2018
A team of researchers from Italy and Germany has developed a nanoparticle inhalant for treating people suffering from heart disease. In their paper published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the group describes ...

Starting periods before age of 12 linked to heightened risk of heart disease and stroke

January 15, 2018
Starting periods early—before the age of 12—is linked to a heightened risk of heart disease and stroke in later life, suggests an analysis of data from the UK Biobank study, published online in the journal Heart.

'Decorated' stem cells could offer targeted heart repair

January 10, 2018
Although cardiac stem cell therapy is a promising treatment for heart attack patients, directing the cells to the site of an injury - and getting them to stay there - remains challenging. In a new pilot study using an animal ...

Exercise is good for the heart, high blood pressure is bad—researchers find out why

January 10, 2018
When the heart is put under stress during exercise, it is considered healthy. Yet stress due to high blood pressure is bad for the heart. Why? And is this always the case? Researchers of the German Centre for Cardiovascular ...

Two simple tests could help to pinpoint cause of stroke

January 10, 2018
Detecting the cause of the deadliest form of stroke could be improved by a simple blood test added alongside a routine brain scan, research suggests.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.