Background: On January 31, The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued the US Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 to provide direction on making healthy food choices to maintain an ideal weight and improve overall health. The recommendations are issued every five years and serve as the basis for the food pyramid.
Position: The American Society of Nephrology (ASN) supports the recommendations, which include advising Americans to reduce their daily salt intake. The recommendations encourage nearly half of Americans to drastically reduce their salt intake. The following groups are urged to cut their salt intake to 1,500 milligrams of sodium daily:
- All individuals 51 and older;
- All African Americans; and
- Individuals with high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease (CKD).
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is the second leading cause of kidney failure and poses a particular threat to African Americans. African Americans are six times as likely as whites to develop hypertension, and nearly 50% of African American adults are hypertensive.
"The recommendations are important to all Americans, particularly African Americans and patients with CKD. High dietary salt worsens kidney disease in a number of ways, including causing higher blood pressure and increasing the effects of hormones, such as angiotensin, known to injure kidneys. Reducing dietary salt should reduce the number of patients requiring renal replacement therapy," explains Stuart L. Linas, MD, FASN, Chair, ASN's Hypertension Advisory Group.
The recommendations advise the remaining 50% of Americans, not included in the above group, to cut their daily sodium intake by one-third to 2,300 milligrams per day to improve their health as well.
Contact: To speak with Dr. Stuart Linas or another member of ASN's Hypertension Advisory Group about ASN's support of the recent recommendations, please contact Shari Leventhal via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 202-416-0658.
Founded in 1966 and comprised of more than 12,000 members, the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) leads the fight against kidney disease by educating health professionals, sharing new knowledge, advancing research, and advocating the highest quality care for patients.