Public Release: 

The war on salt

World Congress of Cardiology 2014 to put a spotlight on one of the biggest drivers of cardiovascular disease, salt

World Heart Federation

The World Congress of Cardiology will convene leading experts across the world in Melbourne, Australia from 4 - 7 May to debate and present the latest findings in heart health. One of the key topics to be discussed will be on the importance of national targets to reduce premature mortality related to cardiovascular disease (CVD), such as dietary salt guidelines.

Experts agree that most populations consume too much salt, a habit which is linked to one of the main risk factors of CVD, hypertension or raised blood pressure. Out of 17.3 million CVD related deaths each year, over half of them - 9.4 million - are linked to hypertension. i The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that adults should have no more than 5g of salt a day - less than one full teaspoonii , however, in most countries the average person consumes between 9 and 12 g a day. i The majority of salt we eat is already in our food, with an estimated 75% of our salt intake in everyday processed foods such as bread, breakfast cereal and processed meats.iii If people were aware of how much salt was hidden in foods and adhered to the current salt intake guidelines, more than 2.5 million deaths could be prevented each year. i

Yet the number of CVD deaths is rising; by 2030 it is estimated to increase to over 23 million.iv There are increasing calls in the international community to further lower the recommended daily salt allowance to reduce premature CVD mortality. But the question remains, what is the ideal target and how can we achieve it? At WCC, experts will discuss the benefits and feasibility of food reformulation, and low sodium and salt guidelines, and the approaches needed to encourage uptake at a national level.

"The World Congress of Cardiology is unique in its role as the global platform for cardiovascular health and outcomes-based approaches. No other Congress brings together such a broad array of regional and global leaders to share the latest science and share best practice in preventing and managing cardiovascular disease in a variety of clinical settings, benefitting patients in countries around the world." Prof. K. Srinath Reddy, President, World Heart Federation

The World Congress of Cardiology is a major bi-annual international conference tackling the world's most pressing issues in cardiovascular health and disease. With an international presence of 100 countries, attendees will have access to over 500 expert speakers, 285 scientific sessions and more than 1000 oral and poster presentations, covering the latest clinical and policy research in cardiovascular disease control.

A number of press briefings will take place throughout WCC 2014, with presentations from the leading global experts. Topics include:

  • The link between health inequalities and CVD
  • Late breaking clinical trial results
  • E-health and mobile health strategies
  • The pillars of heart-healthy environments
  • Rheumatic heart disease amongst children in developed and developing countries
  • Gender-based differences in the management and prevention of CVD
  • The 25x25 roadmap - the United Nation's commitment to reducing premature mortality by non-communicable diseases, including CVDs, by 25% by 2025


Registration for the World Congress of Cardiology is now open here. For further information and to register online, please visit

Contact details

Tara Farrell
Weber Shandwick
Phone: + 44 20 7067 0204

Rosie Ireland
Weber Shandwick
+ 44 207 067 0190

Notes to Editors

About the World Congress of Cardiology (WCC)

The World Congress of Cardiology is the official congress of the World Heart Federation and is held every two years. The congress brings together thousands of cardiologists and other healthcare professionals from around the world, and represents an important forum for discussing all aspects of prevention of treatment of cardiovascular disease. WCC 2014 will take place in Melbourne, Australia from 4-7 May 2014.The WCC congresses provide new information on a wide-range of topics related to cardiovascular health and are accompanied by a robust media programme.

About the World Heart Federation

The World Heart Federation is dedicated to leading the global fight against heart disease and stroke, with a focus on low- and middle-income countries, via a united community of more than 200 member organizations that brings together the strength of cardiac societies and heart foundations from more than 100 countries. It aligns its efforts around the WHO-related target of a 25 per cent reduction in premature CVD mortality by 2025. With its members, the World Heart Federation works to build global commitment to addressing cardiovascular health at the policy level, generates and exchanges ideas, shares best practice, advances scientific knowledge and promotes knowledge transfer to tackle CVD- the world's number one killer. Through our collective efforts we can help people all over the world to lead longer and better heart-healthy lives.

For more information, please visit:; and

i World Health Organization, A global brief on Hypertension, Silent killer, global public health crisis, 2013
ii World Health Organization, issues new guidance on dietary salt and potassium, 2013
iii CDC, Get the Facts: Sodium's Role in Processed Foods, 2012
iv World Health Organization, Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) Factsheet, March 2013

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