Health

Sodium confers CV risks only with large consumption

Sodium confers CV risks only with large consumption

Franz Messerli

Franz H. Messerli

Consumption of sodium was associated with CHD and stroke risk only when it exceeded 5 g per day, according to new data from the PURE study.

Among the 18 countries in the study, only one, China, had average sodium consumption exceed 5 g per day in at least 80% of its participating communities.

“The World Health Organization recommends consumption of less than 2 g of sodium — that’s one teaspoon of salt — a day as a preventive measure against cardiovascular disease, but there is little evidence in terms of improved health outcomes that individuals ever achieve at such a low level,” Andrew Mente, PhD, principal investigator for the epidemiology program at Population Health Research Institute at McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences in Ontario, Canada, said in a press release. “Only in the communities with the most sodium intake — those over 5 g a day of sodium — which is mainly in China, did we find a direct link between sodium intake and major cardiovascular events like heart attack and stroke. In communities that consumed less than 5 g of sodium a day, the opposite was the case. Sodium consumption was inversely associated with myocardial infarction or heart attacks and total mortality, and no increase in stroke.”