American Heart Association stands by its sodium recommendation

April 01, 2014 Categories: Advisories & Comments

DALLAS, April 2, 2014 – American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown issued the following comments on the American Journal of Hypertension’s recent study about the impact of sodium intake and mortality. 

There is a significant body of scientific research that proves a very dangerous association between sodium intake and significant health problems, including in some cases even death. I wish we could say sodium intake does not matter that much to your health, but it does.
Millions of Americans consume too much sodium and as a result face increased risk for high blood pressure, stroke and other very serious conditions. Based on decades of scientifically sound research, we simply cannot minimize the impact of excess sodium in the diet.

One-third of Americans already have high blood pressure, and about 90 percent of all American adults are expected to develop hypertension over their lifetimes.

American Heart Association volunteer and staff scientists have found flaws in several of the studies that were used in this newly published research. In fact, we published a Scientific Advisory in February that detailed some of this problematic research that could lead to contradictory findings. In short, this new analysis of these studies should not be used as rationale to reverse public health policy recommendations.

Successful sodium reduction requires action and partnership at all levels — individuals, healthcare providers, professional organizations, public health agencies, governments and industry. We urge a renewed and intensive focus on this critically important public health issue.

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For media inquiries, please contact Kate Lino at kate.lino@heart.org