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No U-turn on sodium reduction

Cobb LK, Frieden TR, Appel LJ
Journal of Clinical Hypertension

High blood pressure is the world's leading modifiable risk factor for preventable mortality, causing more than 10 million deaths per year,1 more than the number of deaths from all infectious diseases combined. Sodium reduction has the potential to prevent millions of cardiovascular events and deaths, primarily through reducing blood pressure,2 and tested, scalable approaches exist to reduce sodium in commercially processed packaged foods. However, implementation has been limited by two problems: (a) academic controversy, with a few vocal authors mistakenly suggesting that low levels of sodium can increase cardiovascular mortality,34 and (b) the challenges of implementing population-wide sodium reduction interventions.5 This article suggests ways forward on both issues.