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China tries to kick its salt habit

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Science  12 Sep 2014:
Vol. 345, Issue 6202, pp. 1268-1269
DOI: 10.1126/science.345.6202.1268

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Summary

China's alarmingly high salt intake has contributed to a spike in hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases. All told, the average rural Chinese person consumes 12 grams of salt daily, according to the 2010 Global Burden of Disease study, far above the daily maximum of 5 grams recommended by the World Health Organization. Researchers are now testing whether introducing a low-sodium salt substitute in which sodium chloride is partially replaced with potassium chloride, which has been shown to lower blood pressure, might reduce salt intake for villagers in northern China. A massive randomized trial of 21,000 participants aims to show whether such a substitute is feasible—and whether using it brings down incidence of cardiovascular disease.

  • * Shanghai, China