Cutting sodium content, taxing salt could cut CVD deaths.


A combined approach of reducing salt content by just 10% in processed foods and taxing foods with high salt content could reduce cardiovascular deaths in developing countries by as much as 3%, a new modeling study suggests. This two-pronged approach would also be cheap, Dr Thomas Gaziano (Harvard School of Medicine, Boston, MA) who presented the data at the World Congress of Cardiology 2012.


Hypertension is the number-one risk factor for death worldwide, accounting for 12.8% of deaths every year. It also accounts for 10% of all healthcare spending worldwide—$450 billion per year in the US alone.

Gaziano and colleagues modeled the impact of applying the approach to sodium reduction used in the UK to 19 developing countries, making up half the world’s population. That approach includes voluntary collaboration on the part of food manufacturers to reduce sodium content by 10% and adding a 40% tax to salty foods—similar to the taxes applied to tobacco in many countries.

According to Gaziano, both strategies proved cost saving in all countries and would lead to a drop of roughly 3% in the rate of cardiovascular deaths. Stroke rates would drop even more sharply by as much as 5%.

Collaboration with industry to reduce sodium content in foods was the more effective strategy of the two and produced the most cost savings, he noted. Both, however, were cheap—in the range of $43 to $49 per capita over the lifetime of the individual.

Sounds great! I hope governments are listening!

via Cutting sodium content, taxing salt could cut CVD deaths |

Using AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators).

Using AEDs.

Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are portable devices that shock a person’s heart back into rhythm after suffering sudden cardiac arrest, greatly increasing chances of survival. But not all public places have these life-saving devices and some may need them more than others, according to a recent study: Do you know how to use an AED? Share this infographic with your friends and family!

via CardioSmart.

Controlling High Cholesterol.

Controlling High Cholesterol.

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that travels through the blood. In and of itself, cholesterol isn’t bad. It actually helps create the outer coating of our cells and aids the body in making vitamin D and certain hormones. Your body makes the cholesterol it needs. But you also get it in your diet and too much cholesterol can be dangerous. Learn about controlling high cholesterol.

via CardioSmart.