India national salt reduction campaign targets blood pressure, heart disease, stroke

December 04, 2014

Hyderabad, India, 5 December 2014: A national salt reduction programme in India is set to target reductions in blood pressure, heart disease and stroke, said Professor K. Srinath Reddy today at the Annual Conference of the Cardiological Society of India (CSI).1 Blood pressure is a key theme at the conference and is the focus of a session from the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).2

Professor Reddy, who is President of the Public Health Foundation of India and President of the World Heart Federation, said: "Salt consumption in India is high and ranges from 10 to 12 grams per day. Fruit and vegetable, and therefore potassium, intake is low which contributes to a poor sodium to potassium balance. Lowering salt intake should help to reduce blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and stroke."

ESC President Professor Fausto Pinto, who will speak about hypertension in Hyderabad, said: "Adopting a healthy lifestyle is the cornerstone for preventing hypertension. To reduce blood pressure, ESC Guidelines recommend salt restriction to 5 to 6 grams per day and increased consumption of fruits and vegetables."3

India's salt reduction programme will have a two pronged approached. A high proportion of salt consumed is added in cooking and at the table, and a campaign will be launched to educate the public about the importance of reducing these sources of salt in the diet. Processed foods, particularly salted snacks, are eaten by a large number of Indians, and work is ongoing with the Food Safety and Standards Agency of India to bring in regulations to restrict the amount of salt in processed foods.

Professor Reddy said: "People in India consume more salt than the body needs and a reduction of at least 3 to 5 grams per day should be achievable without harmful effects. To that end, efforts to develop a national salt reduction programme in India are underway."4

The Indian Migration Study found that vegetarians in India had lower blood lipids and blood pressure.5 One of the factors contributing to vegetarians' lower blood pressure could be that they eat less salt.

Professor Reddy said: "In India, people who eat meat tend to put more salt on their food. We also know that fruit and vegetables, which are consumed more by vegetarians, contain high levels of potassium which counteracts some of the effects of sodium on blood pressure."

But he added: "Average consumption of fruits and vegetables in India is about 130 grams per day, which is much lower than the World Health Organization's recommended 500 grams. Even vegetarians in India eat small amounts of a limited variety. The potassium in fruits and vegetables protects against stroke through its effects on blood pressure. The combination of excess salt and low potassium in the Indian diet need to be urgently addressed."

Dr HK Chopra, CSI President-Elect, said: "We know that high salt intake has a direct link with greater prevalence of heart attack, stroke and hypertension. Indians eat many foods with a high salt content, including pickle (achar) and snacks like namkeens, samosas and pakoras. Salt restriction is the need of the hour in Indians to reduce the rising menace of premature hypertension, heart attack and stroke."

He added: "Many Indians have premature hypertension that is undetected. According to the Public Health Foundation of India, hypertension ranges from 20% to 39% in urban areas and 12% to 17% in rural areas. It is estimated that hypertension in India will rise from 140 million people in 2008 to nearly 215 million by 2030 with increased risk of premature heart attacks, strokes and kidney disease."

Professor Bryan Williams, vice-chairperson of the ESC Council on Hypertension, spoke in Hyderabad about hypertension that is resistant to treatment with medication. He said: "In contrast to popular belief, resistant hypertension is an uncommon problem. The reality is that many patients are just not taking their treatment or haven't been adequately investigated. With regards to device based therapies such as renal denervation for patients with resistant hypertension, there is insufficient evidence to support their use in routine clinical practice."

He concluded: "Hypertension is the most important and poorly controlled risk factor for heart disease. Most of the life years lost in people with hypertension are due to heart disease.6 As treatment for other risk factors continues to improve, such as statins to lower blood cholesterol, hypertension will remain the major unresolved issue in preventing ischaemic heart disease and later problems like heart failure."
-end-


European Society of Cardiology

Related Heart Disease Articles from Brightsurf:

Cellular pathway of genetic heart disease similar to neurodegenerative disease
Research on a genetic heart disease has uncovered a new and unexpected mechanism for heart failure.

Mechanism linking gum disease to heart disease, other inflammatory conditions discovered
The link between periodontal (gum) disease and other inflammatory conditions such as heart disease and diabetes has long been established, but the mechanism behind that association has, until now, remained a mystery.

New 'atlas' of human heart cells first step toward precision treatments for heart disease
Scientists have for the first time documented all of the different cell types and genes expressed in the healthy human heart, in research published in the journal Nature.

With a heavy heart: How men and women develop heart disease differently
A new study by researchers from McGill University has uncovered that minerals causing aortic heart valve blockage in men and women are different, a discovery that could change how heart disease is diagnosed and treated.

Heart-healthy diets are naturally low in dietary cholesterol and can help to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke
Eating a heart-healthy dietary pattern rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish, legumes, vegetable oils and nuts, which is also limits salt, red and processed meats, refined-carbohydrates and added sugars, is relatively low in dietary cholesterol and supports healthy levels of artery-clogging LDL cholesterol.

Pacemakers can improve heart function in patients with chemotherapy-induced heart disease
Research has shown that treating chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy with commercially available cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) delivered through a surgically implanted defibrillator or pacemaker can significantly improve patient outcomes.

Arsenic in drinking water may change heart structure raising risk of heart disease
Drinking water that is contaminated with arsenic may lead to thickening of the heart's main pumping chamber in young adults, according to a new study by researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

New health calculator can help predict heart disease risk, estimate heart age
A new online health calculator can help people determine their risk of heart disease, as well as their heart age, accounting for sociodemographic factors such as ethnicity, sense of belonging and education, as well as health status and lifestyle behaviors.

Wide variation in rate of death between VA hospitals for patients with heart disease, heart failure
Death rates for veterans with ischemic heart disease and chronic heart failure varied widely across the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system from 2010 to 2014, which could suggest differences in the quality of cardiovascular health care provided by VA medical centers.

Heart failure: The Alzheimer's disease of the heart?
Similar to how protein clumps build up in the brain in people with some neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, protein clumps appear to accumulate in the diseased hearts of mice and people with heart failure, according to a team led by Johns Hopkins University researchers.

Read More: Heart Disease News and Heart Disease Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.