Despite public health efforts over the past several decades to encourage people in the United States to consume less sodium, adults still consume an average of 3,400 mg/day, well above the current federal guideline of 2,300 mg or less daily. Evidence has shown that reducing sodium intake reduces blood pressure and the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Some recent research, however, suggests that sodium intakes that are low may also increase health risks – particularly in certain groups.
The CDC asked the IOM to examine the designs, methodologies, and conclusions in this latest body of research on dietary sodium intake and health outcomes in the general U.S. population and among individuals with hypertension; pre-hypertension; those 51 years of age and older; African Americans; and those with diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and congestive heart failure. The IOM committee also was asked to comment on the implications of this new evidence for population-based strategies to gradually reduce sodium intake and to identify gaps in data and research and suggest ways to address them.