Objective To estimate the potential reduction in cardiovascular (CVD) mortality possible by decreasing salt, trans fat and saturated fat consumption, and by increasing fruit and vegetable (F/V) consumption in Irish adults aged 25-84years for 2010.
Design Modelling study using the validated IMPACT Food Policy Model across two scenarios. Sensitivity analysis was undertaken. First, a conservative scenario: reductions in dietary salt by 1g/day, trans fat by 0.5% of energy intake, saturated fat by 1% energy intake and increasing F/V intake by 1 portion/day. Second, a more substantial but politically feasible scenario: reductions in dietary salt by 3g/day, trans fat by 1% of energy intake, saturated fat by 3% of energy intake and increasing F/V intake by 3 portions/day.
Setting Republic of Ireland.
Outcomes Coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke deaths prevented.
Results The small, conservative changes in food policy could result in approximately 395 fewer cardiovascular deaths per year; approximately 190 (minimum 155, maximum 230) fewer CHD deaths in men, 50 (minimum 40, maximum 60) fewer CHD deaths in women, 95 (minimum 75, maximum 115) fewer stroke deaths in men, and 60 (minimum 45, maximum 70) fewer stroke deaths in women. Approximately 28%, 22%, 23% and 26% of the 395 fewer deaths could be attributable to decreased consumptions in trans fat, saturated fat, dietary salt and to increased F/V consumption, respectively. The 395 fewer deaths represent an overall 10% reduction in CVD mortality. Modelling the more substantial but feasible food policy options, we estimated that CVD mortality could be reduced by up to 1070 deaths/year, representing an overall 26% decline in CVD mortality.
Conclusions A considerable CVD burden is attributable to the excess consumption of saturated fat, trans fat, salt and insufficient fruit and vegetables. There are significant opportunities for Government and industry to reduce CVD mortality through effective, evidence-based food policies.