alexa Health economic consequences of reducing salt intake and replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat in the adult Finnish population: estimates based on the FINRISK and FINDIET studies


Occupational Medicine & Health Affairs

Author(s): J A Martikainen, E J O Soini, D E Laaksonen, L Niskanen

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Background/Objectives: To predict the health economic consequences of modest reductions in the daily intake of salt (−1.0 g per day) and replacement of saturated fat (SFA, −1.0 energy percent (E%)) with polyunsaturated fat (PUFA, +1.0 E%) in the Finnish population aged 30–74 years.

Subjects/Methods: A Markov model with dynamic population structure was constructed to present the natural history of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) based on the most current information about the age- and sex-specific cardiovascular risk factors, dietary habits and nutrient intake. To predict the undiscounted future health economic consequences of the reduction of dietary salt and SFA, the model results were extrapolated for the years 2010–2030 by replacing the baseline population in the year 2007 with the extrapolated populations from the official Finnish statistics. Finnish costs (euro2009, societal perspective) and EQ-5D utilities were obtained from published references.

Results: During the next 20 years, a population-wide intervention directed at salt intake and dietary fat quality could potentially lead to 8000–13 000 prevented CVD cases among the Finnish adults compared the situation in year 2007. In addition, the reduced incidence of CVDs could gain 26 000–45 000 quality-adjusted life years and save euro150–225 million over the same time period.

Conclusion: A modest reduction of salt and replacement of SFA with PUFA in food products can significantly reduce the burden of CVD in the adult Finnish population. This impact may be even larger in the near future due to the ageing of Finnish population.

This article was published in European Journal of Clinical Nutrition and referenced in Occupational Medicine & Health Affairs

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