All regions of the world were above recommended levels, with regional averages ranging from 2.18 gram per day in sub-Saharan Africa to 5.51 gram per day in Central Asia. The findings were achieved after researchers analyzed existing data from 205 surveys of sodium intake in countries representing nearly three-quarters of the world's adult population.
They calculated sodium intakes worldwide by country, age, and sex. "We found that four out of five global deaths attributable to higher than recommended sodium intakes occurred in middle- and low-income countries," added John Powles from University of Cambridge. Researchers also found that reduced sodium intake lowered blood pressure in all adults, with the largest effects identified among older individuals, blacks, and those with pre-existing high blood pressure. "These new findings inform the need for strong policies to reduce dietary sodium across the world," stressed Mozaffarian who led the research while at the Harvard University's school of public health. The findings appeared in the the New England Journal of Medicine.