Abstract 18899: Cardiovascular Benefits of Dietary Salt Reduction for US Adolescents
Background: The US diet is high in salt, and adolescents consume more salt than other age groups (9.2 gm/day of salt or 3800 mg/day of sodium). Because processed foods account for the majority of salt consumed, efforts to reduce salt in these foods through regulation and the voluntary efforts of food manufacturers could yield considerable health benefits. We examined the potential impact of population-wide reductions in dietary salt on cardiovascular risk in US adolescents.
Methods: We used the National Health And Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2008 to determine the distribution of systolic blood pressure (SBP) among adolescents and adults (12-24, 25-34 and 35-50 years). We used published clinical trials and a meta-analysis for the association of salt reduction with lowering of SBP. We used the Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) Policy Model - a computer simulation of CHD and stroke among US adults - to model CHD, stroke, and death through age 50. We modeled the impact of a 3 gm/day reduction in dietary salt on a) hypertension during adolescence and as these adolescents reach age 50, and b) CHD events, stroke, and death through age 50.
Results: A 3 gm/day reduction in dietary salt is projected to decreased the number of hypertensive adolescents and young adults by 44-63% (380,000-550,000 fewer hypertensives age 12-24 years). Assuming this shift in salt consumption is maintained as these adolescents age, a 30-43% decrease in the number of hypertensives age 35-50 years (2,700,000-3,900,000) is projected. Lowering dietary salt among present-day adolescents is estimated to lead to 7-12% reductions in incident CHD (120,000 - 210,000), 8-14% reduction in total myocardial infarction (36,000 - 64,000), 5-8% reductions in total stroke (16,000 - 28,000), and 5-9% reductions in death from any cause (69,000 - 120,000) as these adolescents reach age 50.
Conclusion: Reducing dietary salt in adolescents could yield substantial health benefits by decreasing the number of teenagers with hypertension and the rates of cardiovascular disease and death as these teenagers reach young and middle age adulthood.
- © 2010 by American Heart Association, Inc.