Sodium and Heart Attack Risk
Thursday, July 2, 2009

Cutting back significantly on the amount of salt used in food could reduce peopleís chances of developing cardiovascular disease. Dr. Edward Hill discusses the findings of a report on salt and heart attack risk in todayís todayís 60 Second Housecall.

If everyone reduced their salt intake by just one gram a day, it could mean a reduction of 250,000 new cases of heart disease and 200,000 deaths over the course of a decade.

Those were the conclusions of a computer simulation of heart disease among U.S. adults, announced at the American Heart Association's Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention.

The study found that a 3-gram per day reduction in salt among all Americans would result in 6 percent fewer new cases of heart disease and 3 percent fewer deaths.

Among African-Americans, there would be a 10 percent reduction in new cases of heart disease and a 6 percent reduction in deaths. Three grams per day is equivalent to 1,200 milligrams of sodium.

Americans on average eat 9 to 12 grams of salt per day. Most health organizations recommend 5 to 6 grams of salt per day.

Researchers called for changes in the food industry to reduce the amount of salt in processed foods.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Edward Hill.