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Blood pressure news

Response – ‘Now salt is safe to eat’ (The Cochrane Library)
11/07/2011

In response to newspaper claims that ‘Now salt is safe to eat’, the Blood Pressure Association has the following comment:

Contrary to what was reported in some newspapers, the research paper that was being reported upon did not conclude that salt is safe to eat or that cutting our daily intake does nothing to lower the risk of suffering from heart disease.

The study in question carried out by Rod Taylor et.al. did not include any new experimental studies. It was an analysis of other researcher’s data from only seven studies involving a total of only 6,489 participants. The authors themselves do state that a sample size of around 18,000 participants involving some 2,500 cardiovascular events (rather than the observed 293) would have been required for significant results.

The authors of the paper did nevertheless conclude that their findings were consistent with the belief that salt reduction is beneficial in normotensive and hypertensive individuals.

Their recommendations for further research however implied a need for ‘further rigorous long-term randomised controlled trials, capable of definitively demonstrating the benefit of dietary salt reduction.’

Katharine Jenner, Campaign Director of Consensus Action on Salt and Health says,

“The evidence against salt, as it is for smoking cessation, is so strong it would be highly unethical to conduct a large trial where people have to have a long term high salt intake. 

“There is no sense in waiting for further trials before progressing with an international salt reduction programme, which will immediately save many thousands of lives”.

The current  health recommendation in the UK by NICE (the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) is the consumption of no more than 6g of salt per day per person and that this is cut to 3g per person per day by 2025.

Ends

Notes to Editors:

For further information, please contact Dr Claire McLoughlin at the Blood Pressure Association’s Press Office on 0208 772 4992 or email bpacomms@yahoo.co.uk

  • The Blood Pressure Association is the UK’s leading blood pressure charity, providing information and support to people with high blood pressure and raising awareness about the prevention of the condition. For more information visit www.bpassoc.org.uk or call 020 8772 4994.

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