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Cochrane Library press release - World Action on Salt & Health

By Willie Hall,2014-09-04 21:44
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Cochrane Library press release - World Action on Salt & HealthCoch

    The Cochrane Library

    …the single most reliable source of evidence in

    healthcare

    Strictly Embargoed Until 00.01 Hours BST, Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

    Cutting Down on Salt Doesn’t Reduce Your Chance of Dying

    Moderate reductions in the amount of salt people eat doesn’t reduce their likelihood of dying or experiencing cardiovascular disease. This is the main conclusion from a systematic review published in the latest edition of The Cochrane Library.

    There is lots of evidence that reducing dietary salt intake reduces blood pressure and the researchers did see some indication of this occurring. “Intensive support and encouragement to reduce salt intake did lead to a reduction in salt eaten and a small reduction in blood pressure after more than six months,” says lead author Professor Rod Taylor who works at the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Exeter.

    “What we wanted to see was whether this dietary change also reduced a person’s

    risk of dying or suffering from cardiovascular events,” says Taylor.

    An earlier Cochrane review of dietary advice published in 2004 could not find enough evidence to allow the researchers to draw any conclusions about the effects of reducing salt intake on mortality or cardiovascular events. In Taylor’s newly published research, however, the team managed to locate seven studies that together included 6,489 participants. This gave a sufficiently large set of data to be able to start drawing conclusions. Even so, Taylor believes he would need to have data from at least 18,000 individuals before he could expect to reveal any clear health benefits.

    Most experts are agreed that consuming too much salt is not good for you and that salt reduction is beneficial in people with normal and high blood pressure. “We believe that we didn’t see big benefits in this study because the people in the trials we analyzed only reduced their salt intake by a moderate amount, so the effect on blood pressure and heart disease was not large,” says Taylor. He believes that health practitioners need to find more effective ways of reducing salt intake that are both practicable and inexpensive.

    Many countries have government-sanctioned recommendations that call for reduced dietary sodium. In the UK, the National Institute of Health and Clinical Guidance (NICE) has recently called for an acceleration of the reduction in salt in the general population from a maximum intake of 6g per day per adult by 2015 to 3g by 2025.

    “With governments setting ever lower targets for salt intake, and food manufacturers working to remove it from their products, it’s really important that we do some large research trials to get a full understanding of the benefits and risks of reducing salt intake,” says Taylor.

    Full citation: Taylor RS, Ashton KE, Moxham T, Hooper L, Ebrahim S. Reduced dietary salt for the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011, Issue 7. Art. No.: CD009217. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD009217.

    URL Upon publication: http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/14651858.CD009217

    Interviews: To arrange an interview with Professor Taylor, please contact Andrew Gould at the The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry press office on +44 (0) 1392 686107 or andrew.gould@pcmd.ac.uk.

Notes for editors

    1. About The Cochrane Library

    The Cochrane Library contains high quality health care information, including the Cochrane Database

    of Systematic Reviews, from the Cochrane Collaboration. Cochrane Systematic Reviews bring

    together research on the effects of health care and are considered the gold standard for determining the relative effectiveness of different interventions. The Cochrane Collaboration (http://www.cochrane.org) is a UK registered international charity and the world's leading producer of systematic reviews. It has been demonstrated that Cochrane Systematic Reviews are of comparable or better quality and are updated more often than the reviews published in print journals (Wen J et al; The reporting quality of meta-analyses improves: a random sampling study. Journal of Clinical

    Epidemiology 2008; 61: 770-775).

    In June 2011, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews received an impact factor of 6.186,

    from Thomson ISI, placing it in the top ten general and internal medicine journals.

    The Cochrane Library is published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of The Cochrane Collaboration.

    The Cochrane Library Podcasts: a collection of podcasts on a selection of Cochrane Reviews by authors of reviews in this issue will be available from www.cochrane.org/podcasts.

    2. Accessing The Cochrane Library

    The Cochrane Library can be accessed at www.thecochranelibrary.com. Guest users may access

    abstracts and plain language summaries for all reviews in the database, and members of the media may request full access to the contents of the Library. For further information, see contact details below. A number of countries, including countries in the World Bank’s list of low- and low-middle

    income economies (countries with a gross national income (GNI) per capita of less than $4700), have national provisions by which some or all of their residents are able to access The Cochrane Library for

    free. To find out more, please visit www.thecochranelibrary.com/FreeAccess.

    3. About Wiley-Blackwell

    Wiley-Blackwell is the international scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly publishing business of John Wiley & Sons, with strengths in every major academic and professional field and partnerships with many of the world’s leading societies. Wiley-Blackwell publishes nearly 1,500 peer-reviewed

    journals and 1,500+ new books annually in print and online, as well as databases, major reference works and laboratory protocols. For more information, please visit www.wileyblackwell.com or our new

    online platform, Wiley Online Library (wileyonlinelibrary.com), one of the world’s most extensive

    multidisciplinary collections of online resources, covering life, health, social and physical sciences, and humanities.

    If you would like to see a full list of reviews published in the new issue of The Cochrane Library, or would like to request full access to the contents of The Cochrane Library, please contact Jennifer Beal at Wiley-Blackwell:

    Direct line: +44 (0) 1243 770633

    Mobile: +44 (0) 7802 468863

    Email: healthnews@wiley.com

    John Wiley & Sons Limited is a private limited company registered in England with registered number 641132.

    Registered office address: The Atrium, Southern Gate, Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom. PO19 8SQ.

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