What is the role of sodium in the prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD)?

Updated: May 25, 2018
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The DGAC notes that the average person in the US is consuming nearly 3500 mg of sodium per day. As part of the dietary recommendations, the goal is for individuals to cut at least 1000 mg of sodium from their daily diet to reduce daily intake to 2300 mg per day, a recommendation in line with the Institute of Medicine. The advisory committee no longer recommends a daily target of 1500 mg for any individuals, even those with hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease. [7]

In comparison, the 2012 World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for sodium intake for adults and children recommend reducing sodium intake to below 2000 mg per day for individuals 16 years of age and older; for children 2-15 years, sodium intake should be adjusted downward from 2000 mg per day based on the energy requirements of children relative to adults. Each country should determine the energy requirements of various age categories of the pediatric population relative to adults approximately 20–50 years of age, to lower the recommended maximum intake value per day. [8]

The recommendation includes all individuals with or without hypertension but excludes sub-populations with illnesses or taking drug therapy that may lead to hyponatremia or patients requiring physician-supervised diets (eg, patients with heart failure or type 1 diabetes). [8]

The AHA/ACC guidelines recommend sodium intake of less than 2400 mg per day but find further restriction to 1500 mg per day desirable for greater reduction in blood pressure. Reduction by 1000 mg per day is beneficial in lowering blood pressure even if optimum levels of daily sodium intake are not achieved.{ref8)

The European guidelines recommend reducing salt intake to less than 5000 mg per day. [4]

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