WHO Warns Excessive Salt Intake Fueling Cardiovascular Crisis in Europe

The World Health Organization (WHO) revealed that cardiovascular disease is the cause of 40% of deaths across Europe, with a staggering toll of 10,000 lives lost daily, totaling four million annually. Stressing the urgency of the situation, WHO called upon Europeans to reduce their salt intake.

Hans Kluge, Director of WHO’s European branch, emphasized that implementing targeted measures to decrease salt consumption by 25% could potentially save approximately 900,000 lives from cardiovascular diseases by 2030.

The prevalence of hypertension, often linked to excessive salt intake, affects one in three adults aged 30 to 79 in Europe.

Alarmingly, 51 out of 53 countries in WHO’s European region exceed the recommended maximum daily salt intake of five grams or one teaspoon, primarily due to the prevalence of processed foods and snacks.

Excessive salt consumption significantly elevates blood pressure, a major risk factor for cardiovascular ailments such as heart attacks and strokes, according to WHO.

Europe stands out with the highest prevalence of high blood pressure globally, as highlighted in WHO’s report.

Moreover, the report points out a gender difference, with men in the region being nearly 2.5 times more susceptible to cardiovascular diseases than women.

Geographically, there exists a stark contrast: the likelihood of premature death (between ages 30 to 69) from cardiovascular diseases is almost five times higher in eastern Europe and central Asia compared to western Europe.