Preventing cardiovascular disease
High blood pressure contributes to increased risk of stroke. We know that lowering salt intake will lower blood pressure levels. However, the evidence to prove that lowering blood pressure will reduce the risks of vascular outcomes is less strong. Using salt substitutes to reduce sodium consumption provides a good opportunity to test this.
Rural Chinese are known to have a high sodium intake and to suffer from high rates of hypertension and stroke, so sodium reduction is a particularly attractive option in China.
The China Salt Substitute and Stroke Study (SaSS) study is a five-year, large scale randomized controlled trial (RCT). The aim is to establish if a low-sodium salt substitute can reduce morbidity and mortality from stroke as a result of reduced sodium intake. So far, the study has recruited 21,000 high risk patients with stroke and hypertension from 600 villages in northern China.
Coordinated by the local health and academic institutes in China, the study provided the patients and their families in the intervention group with salt substitute for free to replace their regular salt for five years.