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Perspect Public Health. 2014 Nov;134(6):346-52. doi: 10.1177/1757913913499658. Epub 2013 Sep 3.

The increasing burden of hypertension in Nigeria - can a dietary salt reduction strategy change the trend?

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  • 1Department of Pathophysiology, School of Medicine, St. George's University, Grenada, West Indies


Developing countries face a dual challenge of both communicable and non-communicable disease - 80% of deaths from cardiovascular disease occur in low and middle-income countries. Hypertension ranks highest as an attributable cause of mortality in both developed and developing countries. The prevalence of hypertension is rising rapidly in Nigeria, from 11% two decades ago to about 30% in recent times. This review explores salt reduction in the diet at the population-wide level as a means of reducing the burden of hypertension in Nigeria. The evidence behind this strategy is explored, methods of how this goal was achieved in other countries are investigated and recommendations on how it could be accomplished in the Nigerian context are considered. There are suggestions that if salt reductions are effectively implemented on a population-wide basis, it will have an impact on morbidity and mortality as large as that which the provision of drains and safe water had in the 19(th) century.


Nigeria; hypertension; non-communicable diseases; salt reduction

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