Cost-Effectiveness of Salt Reduction

Cost-Effectiveness of Salt Reduction

Government-supported policy projected to be a highly cost-effective way to reduce salt consumption and gain healthy years lost to cardiovascular disease.

BOSTON (Jan. 10, 2017, 6:30 p.m. ET)—A new global study projects that a government-supported policy to reduce salt consumption would be highly cost-effective across the world. Based on costs and a 10 percent reduction in salt over 10 years, such a program would save nearly 6 million life-years currently lost to cardiovascular disease each year, at an average cost of $204 per life-year saved.

The study, published today in The BMJ, modeled the effects and costs in 183 countries of a government-supported policy combining food industry agreements and public education to reduce salt consumption.

“We know that excess dietary salt causes hundreds of thousands of cardiovascular deaths each year,” said senior and corresponding author Dariush Mozaffarian, M.D., Dr.P.H., dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. “The trillion-dollar question has been how to start to bring salt down, and how much such an effort would cost.”

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