An initiative to reduce salt intake among Americans could save thousands of lives, as well as billions of healthcare dollars. According to new research, a combined effort made by the United States government and the food industry to reduce American salt consumption by just 10 percent could prevent as many as half a million heart attacks, while saving the nation about $32 million in healthcare costs. The findings of the analysis were recently published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Reduction of salt intake can promote lower blood pressure levels, which is a key factor in the prevention of heart attack and stroke. Cutting salt consumption by only a small amount can lead to positive outcomes on a much larger scale. According to lead study author Dr. Crystal Smith-Spangler, “Per person on average it is a very small decrease in blood pressure, but over large populations, we saw a significant reduction in cardiovascular disease and in cost savings.”