Eating less salt cuts cardiovascular risk by 25 per cent

Researchers in Boston have produced the strongest evidence yet that reducing salt intake can cut the risk of cardiovascular disease and reduce mortality rates.

They followed up participants from two trials completed in the 1990s which had analysed the effect on blood pressure of reducing salt in the diet.

All participants had pre-hypertension. In both trials, involving more than 3,000 people, the participants reduced their sodium intake by between 25 per cent and 35 per cent.

These pre-hypertensive individuals were 25 per cent less likely to develop cardiovascular problems over the course of the 10-15 years post-trial. There was also a 20 per cent lower mortality rate. The authors say this is the first and only study of sufficient size and duration to assess the effects of a low salt diet on cardiovascular problems based on randomised trial data (BMJ Online First).

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