This is a story about the information published in a recent Cochrane reviewing what has been shown to result from the reduction of dietary salt intake along with the opinions of several diverse thought leaders in the field about the review. The review found that small reductions in salt intake by people with normal blood pressure, high blood pressure, or a diagnosis of heart failure reduced blood pressure but did not show a demonstrable difference in the risk of developing heart disease or dying prematurely. The authors of the study indicated that the data available involved too few people and too small a reduction in salt intake to show heart health benefits. The guidelines mentioned and the experts in the field who were interviewed shared the point of view that excess salt was detrimental.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide and it is therefore of interest to know what lifestyle changes are effective in reducing this risk. Salt restriction is currently considered an important public health measure for reducing the burden of heart disease.
Not applicable. Costs not in question in this context.
The news of this piece is that, not withstanding the recommendations of many guidelines and experts, the recently published Cochrane review failed to demonstrate that a small reduction in dietary salt intake decreased the chance of developing heart disease or dying prematurely.
Not applicable in this story about reducing salt consumption.
The story reported on the conclusion drawn in a Cochrane Review about the failure to demonstrate health benefit resulting from reduction in dietary salt intake and then provided comments from several experts in the field to refute those conclusions. The story included comments from the lead study author indicating that the data were were limited by the small sample sizes in the studies and because the reductions in salt may have been too small to make a difference.
This story did not engage in overt disease mongering.
Quotes from several independent sources were included as part of this story.
There was no mention in this story about what is known about other means of reducing the risk of developing or dying of heart disease. A brief mention – even one additional sentence – about the importance of smoking cessation, exercise, and other dietary changes would have provided perspective.
Not applicable. The availability of salt is not in question.
The story reported on the results of a recently published Cochrane review. It indicated that several guidelines included recommendations for reductions in salt intake and while the experts quoted were in agreement that reducing salt intake was beneficial, the results of this most recent review is that the data do not support this claim. Good context provided.
This story does not appear to rely on a news release.