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A model for good health-Modelling the effect of salt reduction on future burdens of disease in 30 countries

Centre of Environmental and Preventive Medicine

Project Investigator: Graham MacGregor

Overview

Salt is a major cause of premature illness and disease throughout the world.

Consuming too much salt can lead to raised blood pressure, a main cause of cardio vascular disease, osteoporosis, stomach cancer, kidney disease and obesity.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that reducing salt levels across the population is a cheap and effective way to improve population health.

This project will develop a statistical model that will enable us to test the effect of salt consumption on future mortality and morbidity of a population.

The model will also be able to test the effect of interventions that successfully reduce salt intake (e.g. the effect of a 1 gram decrease in population salt intake on future rate of heart disease).

The model will be developed for 30 countries.

The outcome will be a Salt Atlas tool that can be adapted for each country and a report describing future disease trends given the current trend in salt consumption as well as the effect of decreases in salt on avoidable chronic disease rates and healthcare costs.

The countries selected for quality of data available and a representative geographical spread will be Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Japan, China, Denmark, Finland, Russia, South Africa, Switzerland, UK, USA, Sweden, Canada, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands,Kenya, Egypt, Pakistan, Turkey, Croatia, Portugal, Poland, Malaysia, Georgia, Barbados, Iran, Cuba and South Korea.

A key to success in terms of gathering data and making impact on policy is to collaborate with World Action Salt Health (WASH) members and other international experts.

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