Friday, January 22, 2010

Cutting Salt as Good as Quitting Smoking

Cutting U.S. salt intake by just half a teaspoon a day would prevent up to 92,000 deaths, 99,000 heart attacks, and 66,000 strokes -- a benefit as big as smoking cessation. The prediction, based on computer models using real clinical data,  to predict the effects of small reductions in salt intake, was published in the Jan. 20 online issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

"The [ heart] benefits of reduced salt intake are on par with the benefits of population-wide reductions in tobacco use, obesity, and cholesterol levels," says Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, PhD. The average U.S. man currently gets about 10.4 grams a day and the average U.S. woman gets about 7.3 grams a day.


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