The Los Angeles Times (2/12, Healy) "Booster Shots" blog reports that a new study published Tuesday in the American Heart Association's journal Hypertension found that "steadily reducing sodium in the foods we buy and eat could save a half-million Americans from dying premature deaths over a decade." An immediate 40% reduction in salt intake could also increase the amount of lives saved this decade to 850,000. The estimates come from three separate teams from the University of California-San Francisco, Harvard University's School of Public Health, and Canada's Simon Fraser University "crunching the numbers" and reaching "estimates independently." Americans consume over 3,600 milligrams of sodium daily, and the teams agreed if this were to be reduced to 1,500, "as many as 1.2 million premature deaths could be averted over the course of a decade."
The ABC News (2/12, Keller) "Medical Unit" blog reports that "the way to reduce Americans' salt intake isn't to hide the salt shakers at the dinner table," said Kirstin Bibbins-Domingo, associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at UC-San Francisco. "It's to get food companies to cut down on the amount of salt they put in commercially prepared and packaged food - the source of 80 percent of Americans' sodium." She added that the elderly and those with hypertension should pay particular attention to their salt intake.
HealthDay (2/12, Preidt) reports that study lead author Pam Coxson, a mathematician at UC-San Francisco, said, "No matter how we look at it, the story is the same - there will be huge benefits in reducing sodium." She noted that many "believe that taking the salt shaker off the dinner table will reduce their sodium consumption to a healthy level, but 80 percent of the sodium consumed by Americans comes from processed foods.
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