09/24/2009 - News

Cutting Back on Salt Could Save $50 Billion Healthcare Dollars

By: June Chen, MD

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Excessive salt intake is a persistent health problem in many parts of the world, including the United States. Nearly one-third of Americans have hypertension, and salt consumption contributes to the development of high blood pressure. According to a recent RAND Corporation study published in the September/October 2009 issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion, lowering salt consumption could save up to $50 billion per year in hypertension-related health care costs.

According to researchers from RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research organization, reducing the average salt intake of Americans to the amount recommended by health officials could save as much as $18 billion per year in health care costs by eliminating 11 million cases of high blood pressure each year. In addition, quality of life would be improved for millions of people, and the monetary value of this improved quality of life would be an estimated $32 billion annually.
 
Nearly 70% of Americans consume more than the recommended amount of salt each day. This study is one of the first to investigate the economic benefits of lowering salt, or sodium, consumption among the US population. The researchers emphasize that their findings underscore the importance of pursuing a population-based approach to reducing salt intake.
 

Source:

RAND Corporation News Release, September 11, 2009.

Created on: 09/24/2009
Reviewed on: 09/24/2009

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