Potential Societal Savings from Reduced Sodium Consumption in the U.S. Adult Population

Published in: American Journal of Health Promotion, v. 24, no. 11, Sept/Oct. 2009, p. 49-57

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2009

by Kartika Palar, Roland Sturm

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Cross-sectional simulation scenarios were developed to estimate the effect of hypertension prevalence, direct medical costs, and quality of life years (QALYs) saved by reductions in sodium consumption. Population-level data on blood pressure, antihypertensive medication use, and sodium intake were from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2004. These data were then combined with parameters from the literature on sodium effects, disease outcomes, costs, and quality of life to yield model outcomes. Reducing average population sodium intake to the recommended maximum of 2300 mg/d was predicted to reduce hypertension cases by 11 million, save $18 billion in health care costs, and gain 312,000 QALYs, worth $32 billion annually.

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