In yesterday's New York Times, there's new scientific analysis to support Mayor Bloomberg's quest to reduce salt intake:
In a scientific analysis published last week in The New England Journal of Medicine, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco; Stanford University; and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons calculated that if Americans reduced their salt intake by half a teaspoon a day, or three grams (the equivalent of 1,200 milligrams of sodium, the health culprit in salt), the nation would save up to $24 billion a year in health care costs.Photo credit Tony Cenicola and full article at the New York Times
The research team, led by Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, an epidemiologist and biostatistician at U.C.S.F., concluded that even a much more modest reduction — one gram a day, achieved gradually by the year 2019 — "would be more cost-effective than using medications to lower blood pressure in all persons with hypertension."
And money is not the only thing that would be saved. The researchers calculated that the half-teaspoon reduction would "reduce the annual number of new cases of coronary heart disease by 60,000 to 120,000, stroke by 32,000 to 66,000, and myocardial infarction [heart attack] by 54,000 to 99,000, and reduce the annual number of deaths from any cause by 44,000 to 92,000."