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Computer Model Projects Major Health Benefits From Minor Reductions In Salt Intake

January 20, 2010: 07:58 PM EST
A very slight decrease in the salt consumed daily by Americans – barely noticeable in the taste of food – would have “dramatic health benefits,” preventing 100,000 heart attacks and 92,000 deaths, according to a U.S. study. The researchers used a computer simulation of heart disease among U.S. adults known as the Coronary Heart Disease Policy Model to calculate the benefits of such a change in the national diet. Reducing dietary salt by three grams per day would result in 11 percent fewer cases of heart disease, 13 percent fewer heart attacks, and eight percent fewer strokes, researchers projected.
Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, Ph.D., M.D., Glenn M. Chertow, M.D., M.P.H., Pamela G. Coxson, Ph.D., Andrew Moran, M.D., James M. Lightwood, Ph.D., Mark J. Pletcher, M.D., M.P.H., and Lee Goldman, M.D., M.P.H., "Projected Effect of Dietary Salt Reductions on Future Cardiovascular Disease", The New England Journal of Medicine, January 20, 2010, © Massachusetts Medical Society
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