Study: 1 in 10 U.S. deaths blamed on salt

March 22, 2013 8:05:42 PM PDT
A new report by a Harvard research team blames salt consumption for about 10% of all deaths in the United States. The same team linked excessive salt intake for nearly 2.3 million cardiovascular deaths worldwide in 2010.

“The burden of sodium is much higher than the burden of sugar-sweetened beverages,” said Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, one of the authors of the study, according to ABC News. “That’s because sugar-sweetened beverages are just one type of food that people can avoid, whereas sodium is in everything.”

Researchers in the study say that a healthy daily limit would be 1,000 mg of sodium per day, which is less than half of the current U.S. recommended limit of 2,300 mg.

Mozraffian and the other authors came to their conclusions by analyzing 247 surveys on sodium intake and 107 clinical trials about how sodium intake affects cardiovascular diseases.

Critics say that the study is biased, and note that it has yet to appear in any peer-reviewed journals.

The study appeared Friday at the American Heart Association’s annual meeting in New Orleans.