Does a reduction in dietary salt substantially reduce cardiovascular events?

From: NEJM

Journal rating:
rating: 100%
Study Quality:
rating: 50%

Overall Reliability

Article Quality:
rating: 50%
rating: 0%


  • A computer-simulation was used as part of the study.


  • The reviewers used the Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) Policy Model to quantify the benefits of potentially achievable, population-wide reductions in dietary salt of up to 3 g per day. 


  • Reducing dietary salt by 3 g per day is projected to reduce the annual number of new cases of CHD by 60,000 to 120,000, stroke by 32,000 to 66,000, and myocardial infarction by 54,000 to 99,000 and to reduce the annual number of deaths from any cause by 44,000 to 92,000.
  • A regulatory intervention designed to achieve a reduction in salt intake of 3 g per day would save 194,000 to 392,000 quality-adjusted life-years and $10 billion to $24 billion in health care costs annually (U.S.).


  • Yes (with confidence)


Editors Notes

  • The reviewers found that 'all segments of the population would benefit, with blacks benefiting proportionately more, women benefiting particularly from stroke reduction, older adults from reductions in CHD events, and younger adults from lower mortality rates.
  • The cardiovascular benefits of reduced salt intake are on par with the benefits of population-wide reductions in tobacco use, obesity, and cholesterol levels.
  • The Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services recommend daily intake of less than 5.8 g of salt (2300 mg of sodium), with a lower target of 3.7 g of salt per day for most adults (persons over 40 years of age, blacks, and persons with hypertension).
  • Despite these guidelines, during the period from 2005 through 2006, the average man in the United States is estimated to have consumed 10.4 g of salt per day and the average woman 7.3 g per day — amounts that exceed those in preceding years.