Cost-effectiveness of strategies to reduce sodium intake

January 01, 0001

Cost-effectiveness of strategies to reduce sodium intake

Sodium consumption raises blood pressure, increasing the risk for heart attack and stroke. Several countries, including the United States, are considering strategies to decrease population sodium intake. These US authors assess the cost-effectiveness of 2 population strategies to reduce sodium intake: government collaboration with food manufacturers to voluntarily cut sodium in processed foods, modeled on the United Kingdom experience, and a sodium tax. A Markov model was constructed with 4 health states: well, acute myocardial infarction (MI), acute stroke, and history of MI or stroke.

They found: "Results of Base-Case Analysis. Collaboration with industry that decreases mean population sodium intake by 9.5% averts 513,885 strokes and 480,358 MIs over the lifetime of adults aged 40 to 85 years who are alive today compared with the status quo, increasing QALYs by 2.1 million and saving $32.1 billion in medical costs. A tax on sodium that decreases population sodium intake by 6% increases QALYs by 1.3 million and saves $22.4 billion over the same period. Results of Sensitivity Analysis. Results are sensitive to the assumption that consumers have no disutility with modest reductions in sodium intake."

The authors concluded: "Strategies to reduce sodium intake on a population level in the United States are likely to substantially reduce stroke and MI incidence, which would save billions of dollars in medical expenses."

Both strategies are attractive, both improving health and saving costs.

For the full abstract, click here.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 152(8):481-487, 20 April 2010
© 2010 to the American College of Physicians
Population Strategies to Decrease Sodium Intake and the Burden of Cardiovascular-Disease-A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis. Crystal M. Smith-Spangler, Jessie L. Juusola, Eva A. Enns, Douglas K. Owens, and Alan M. Garber. Correspondence to Dr. Smith-Spangler:

Category: T. Endocrine/Metabolic/Nutritional, K. Circulatory. Keywords: sodium, diet, heart attack, stroke, hypertension, cost- effectiveness analysis, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Linda French, Toledo, Ohio. Posted on Global Family Doctor 11 May 2010

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