Cutting Salt Intake Could Save Billions of Medical-Cost Dollars

Significant reductions in myocardial infarction, stroke, with a small cut in salt content of food
By Jane Parry
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, March 3 (HealthDay News) -- Cutting the salt content of food could result in substantial reductions in the incidence of stroke and myocardial infarction, saving billions of dollars on medical costs in the process, according to a study published online March 1 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

To assess the cost-effectiveness of either a sodium tax or collaboration between the government and the food industry to voluntarily reduce the sodium content of foods, Crystal M. Smith-Spangler, M.D., of Stanford University in California, and colleagues used data from various sources including the 2006 Medical Panel Expenditure Survey and the Framingham Heart Study on American adults aged 40 to 85 years.

The researchers found that if government-industry collaboration reduced sodium intake by 9.5 percent, 513,885 strokes and 480,358 myocardial infarctions would be prevented over the population's lifetime, resulting in an additional 2.1 million quality-adjusted life-years and a reduction of $32.1 billion in medical costs. When the researchers assumed a sodium tax would cut salt intake by 6 percent, they found it would result in an additional 1.3 million quality-adjusted life-years and $22.4 billion in savings.

"Collaboration with industry to establish voluntary sodium targets in processed foods is likely to be more effective than a sodium tax and appears to be an appropriate first step towards reducing population sodium intake and the burden of cardiovascular disease," the authors write.

Full Text

Copyright © 2010 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Powered by

jQuery UI Accordion - Default functionality

For life-long learning and continuing professional development, come to Lippincott's NursingCenter.

Nursing Jobs Plus
Featured Jobs
Recommended CE Articles

Debunking Three Rape Myths
Journal of Forensic Nursing, October/December 2014
Expires: 12/31/2016 CE:2.5 $24.95

Drug updates and approvals: 2014 in review
The Nurse Practitioner, 13December 2014
Expires: 12/31/2016 CE:3 $27.95

Can Food Processing Enhance Cancer Protection?
Nutrition Today, September/October 2014
Expires: 10/31/2016 CE:2 $21.95

More CE Articles

Subscribe to Recommended CE

Recommended Nursing Articles Evidence Based Practice Skin Care Network NursingCenter Quick Links What’s Trending Events