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IOM Report Examines New Studies on Salt Intake Levels and Health Outcomes

 

Despite efforts over the past several decades to reduce intake levels of sodium, a main component of table salt, the average American adult still consumes about 3,400 mg of sodium a day.  The current Dietary Guidelines for Americans urge most people ages 14 to 50 to limit their sodium intake to 2,300 mg daily.  Certain population subgroups -- people 51 or older, African Americans, and people with hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease -- are advised to follow an even stricter limit of 1,500 mg per day.  These recommendations are based largely on research linking higher sodium intakes to certain "surrogate markers" such as high blood pressure, a known risk factor for heart disease. 

 

Sodium Intake in Populations: Assessment of Evidence, a new report from the Institute of Medicine, examines a group of recent studies that look at the connections between sodium consumption and health outcomes like heart disease and death, in contrast with previous studies that link sodium intake to blood pressure.  The report also examines the potential health outcomes of reducing sodium consumption from the levels many Americans eat as well as to the lower end of intake levels recommended for population subgroups.

 

The report will be released in conjunction with a public webinar starting at 11 a.m. EDT Tuesday, May 14.  Members of the committee that wrote the report will discuss the report's findings and conclusions and answer questions.  Advance copies will be available to reporters only starting at noon EDT Monday, May 13.  The report is embargoed and not for public release before 11 a.m. EDT May 14.  To receive log-in information for the webinar, obtain an embargoed copy of the report, and arrange interviews with members of the authoring committee, contact the National Academies' Office of News and Public Information; tel. 202-334-2138 or e-mail news@nas.edu.  More information on the study is available at http://www.iom.edu/Activities/Nutrition/ConsequencesSodiumReduction.aspx.