Liverpool, UK – High levels of dietary salt intake promote high blood pressure which is a leading cause of coronary heart disease (CHD). Therefore, reducing dietary salt intake could substantially reduce the number of CHD events and consequently decrease the burden on the National Health Service (NHS).
In the study, “An Economic Evaluation of Salt Reduction Policies to Reduce Coronary Heart Disease in England: A Policy Modeling Study,” published in Value in Health, researchers from the United Kingdom used the IMPACTprevention model to quantify and compare four UK policies to reduce dietary salt intake, of which three (1-3) have already been successfully used in the UK: (1) Change4Life health promotion campaign; (2) Front-of-pack labelling to display salt content; (3) Food industry working with the Food Standards Agency on a voluntary basis to reformulate and reduce salt in processed foods; (4) Legislation to impose salt reduction targets on food manufacturers.
The reduction in mortality associated with each policy was quantified as life-years gained over 10 years in an English population. The researchers’ analyses suggest that all policies were beneficial as they all resulted in a gain in life-years and reduced health care expenditure on CHD. Legislation gained the highest number of life years, over 19,000, with potential savings of over £660million to the NHS.
Professor Simon Capewell, MD, DSc, from the University of Liverpool and the project lead said, “This research shows that if the UK government wants to take more effective action, mandatory reformulation of foods to reduce salt should be implemented. This will potentially save thousands of lives.”
Value in Health (ISSN 1098-3015) publishes papers, concepts, and ideas that advance the field of pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research as well as policy papers to help health care leaders make evidence-based decisions. The journal is published bi-monthly and has over 8,000 subscribers (clinicians, decision-makers, and researchers worldwide).
International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) is a nonprofit, international, educational and scientific organization that strives to increase the efficiency, effectiveness, and fairness of health care resource use to improve health.
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