A large-scale cluster randomized trial to determine the effects of community-based dietary sodium reduction - The China Rural Health Initiative Sodium Reduction Study

Nicole Li, Li Jing Yan, Wen Yi Niu, Darwin Labarthe, Xiang Xian Feng, Jing Pu Shi, Jian Xin Zhang, Rui Juan Zhang, Yu Hong Zhang, Hong Ling Chu, Andrea Neiman, Michael Engelgau, Paul Elliott, Yang Feng Wu, Bruce Neal

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    33 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Background Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death and disability in China. High blood pressure caused by excess intake of dietary sodium is widespread and an effective sodium reduction program has potential to improve cardiovascular health. Design This study is a large-scale, cluster-randomized, trial done in five Northern Chinese provinces. Two counties have been selected from each province and 12 townships in each county making a total of 120 clusters. Within each township one village has been selected for participation with 1:1 randomization stratified by county. The sodium reduction intervention comprises community health education and a food supply strategy based upon providing access to salt substitute. Subsidization of the price of salt substitute was done in 30 intervention villages selected at random. Control villages continued usual practices. The primary outcome for the study is dietary sodium intake level estimated from assays of 24-hour urine. Trial status The trial recruited and randomized 120 townships in April 2011. The sodium reduction program was commenced in the 60 intervention villages between May and June of that year with outcome surveys scheduled for October to December 2012. Baseline data collection shows that randomisation achieved good balance across groups. Discussion The establishment of the China Rural Health Initiative has enabled the launch of this large-scale trial designed to identify a novel, scalable strategy for reduction of dietary sodium and control of blood pressure. If proved effective, the intervention could plausibly be implemented at low cost in large parts of China and other countries worldwide.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)815-822
    Number of pages8
    JournalAmerican Heart Journal
    Volume166
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013

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