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Can J Cardiol. 2008 Jun;24(6):497-1.

Reducing dietary sodium and decreases in cardiovascular disease in Canada.

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Department of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta.



Increases in dietary sodium increase blood pressure, whereas emerging evidence confirms that the reduction in dietary sodium results in reduced cardiovascular events.


To estimate the effect that reducing dietary sodium can have on cardiovascular events in Canada.


Based on published meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials, blood pressure reductions associated with different levels of reduction in dietary sodium were used in the model. The RR for cardiovascular events associated with the blood pressure reduction was modelled based on a meta-analysis of diuretic trials. Assumptions were made that controlled hypertensive patients would or would not have similar reduction in blood pressure as the normotensive population. Cardiovascular events in Canada for 2002 were used to estimate the decrease in cardiovascular events.


A reduction in daily sodium intake of 1840 mg/day was estimated to prevent 11,550 cardiovascular disease events per year. This varied from about 7300 to 10,700 events per year when hypertension control rates were varied from 13% to 66%. Reduction in cardiovascular events ranged from 8300 to 16,800 per year for a reduction in dietary sodium from 1200 mg/day to 2400 mg/day.


Reducing dietary sodium can substantially reduce cardiovascular disease events in Canada. This information can aid policy makers in assessing the importance of public health policy and to monitor the health impact of changes in dietary sodium in Canada.

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