WEDNESDAY, Dec. 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) — A considerable proportion of cardiovascular disease (CVD) deaths in Shandong Province, China, may be attributable to high sodium intake, according to a study published online Dec. 19 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Jiyu Zhang, from the Shandong Province Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Jinan, China, and colleagues collected blood pressure values and sodium intake measurements using 24-hour urinary excretion from the 2011 Shandong-Ministry of Health Action on Sodium and Hypertension baseline survey that was conducted in 20 counties/districts. Cause-specific mortality was derived from the Shandong Death Registration System; population-attributable fraction was used to estimate annual CVD deaths attributable to high sodium intake and deaths averted by achieving sodium-reduction targets.

The researchers found that in Shandong in 2011, there were 16,100 CVD deaths among adults aged 25 to 69 years that were attributable to higher sodium intake, accounting for 19.9 percent of total CVD deaths. These deaths included 5,600 and 9,000 fro ischemic heart disease and stroke, respectively. Sodium reduction was correlated with considerable benefit in terms of CVD deaths, with 8,800, 6,700, and 8,500 deaths averted with a reduction in sodium intake from the 2011 baseline (12,500 mg/day) to 3,500 mg/day, to 4,000 mg/day, and by 30 percent, respectively.

“The burden of cardiovascular disease attributable to a high sodium diet is extreme but preventable and measures to reduce salt intake are urgently recommended,” a coauthor said in a statement.

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