Participants in the salt reduction studyEffective management of diseases such as hypertension requires more than drug therapy, but also a change in diet and lifestyle. At George Clinical, our focus is clinical trials, whereas our partner in research, The George Institute, is a world leader in public health research. This allows us to form comprehensive approaches to disease management that very few other single organizations are capable of.

As this week is Salt Awareness week, we highlight the work of the Institute in salt reduction, a key factor in the development of hypertension and its associated co-morbidities. The Institute is currently initiating a large scale cluster randomised trial, called the SSaSS study, which will be conducted in rural China.

It aims to evaluate the effects of replacing usual salt with a low sodium salt substitute on the incidence of stroke and mortality. This is the largest study of its kind and of significant importance to the Chinese community as rural Chinese consumes large quantities of sodium and suffers from very high rates of hypertension and stroke.

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Click here to find out more on The George Institute’s work in Food Policy.

The study will be conducted in 600 rural villages across five Northern provinces and Tibet. The study will recruit 35 high risk individuals from each village, making a total of 21,000 participants.

The SSaSS study follows the completion of a pilot study, which involved five Northern Chinese provinces with 120 villages. SSaSS will provide direct evidence on the benefits of salt reduction on the risk of stroke and other hard clinical outcomes, and that the benefits can be achieved at low cost.