WHO Warns to Reduce Salt Intake After Alarming Heart Disease Data

Wed May 15 2024
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GENEVA: The World Health Organization (WHO) has revealed that cardiovascular disease is responsible for around 40% of deaths in Europe, which amounts to 10,000 deaths a day, or four million annually due to excessive salt intake.

WHO’s Europe branch director, Hans Kluge, emphasized the urgent need for action, stating that implementing targeted policies to reduce salt intake by 25% could potentially save an estimated 900,000 lives from cardiovascular diseases by 2030.

According to reports by Agence France-Presse (AFP), one in three adults between the ages of 30 and 79 in Europe suffer from hypertension, largely attributed to excessive salt consumption.

The WHO’s European region comprises 51 out of 53 countries with an average daily salt intake exceeding the recommended maximum of five grams, or one teaspoon. The primary culprits behind this alarming trend are processed foods and snacks, which are prevalent in modern diets.

The detrimental effects of high salt intake are profound, as it significantly raises blood pressure—a leading risk factor for cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes, the WHO emphasized.

Europe currently holds the unenviable title of having the highest blood pressure prevalence globally, further underscoring the urgent need for intervention.

The WHO Europe report also revealed stark disparities in cardiovascular health outcomes between genders and regions. Men in the region face a significantly higher risk, being almost 2.5 times more likely to die from cardiovascular diseases than women. Moreover, the probability of premature death (between ages 30-69) from cardiovascular disease is nearly five times higher in eastern Europe and central Asia compared to western Europe.


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