Objective To estimate potential reductions in Irish CVD mortality achievable through specific changes in average intakes of saturated fat, trans-fat, salt, fruit and vegetables.
Methods A previously validated food policy model was used to estimate potential annual CVD mortality reductions associated with a conservative scenario. Specifically, a reduction in salt intake by 1 g/d, trans fat by 0.5% of energy intake, saturated fat by 1% energy intake and increasing fruit and vegetable intake by one portion per day. More substantial but politically feasible targets were also modelled. Results were stratified by age and sex. A probabilistic sensitivity analysis was undertaken using Monte Carlo simulation.
Results Modest changes in food policy could result in approximately 450 fewer cardiovascular deaths per year. This includes approximately 215 fewer coronary heart disease (CHD) deaths in men (minimum 167, maximum 286), approximately 60 fewer CHD deaths in women (45, 76), approximately 115 fewer stroke deaths in men (92, 146) and 65 fewer stroke deaths in women (50, 79). Approximately, 29% of the 450 fewer deaths would be attributable to decreased trans fat consumption, 23% to decreased saturated fat, 23% to decreased salt consumption and 26% to increased fruit and vegetable consumption. The 450 fewer deaths would represent a 10% reduction in CVD mortality in Ireland. More substantial but feasible food policy changes could reduce CVD mortality by up to 1250 deaths (representing a 25% mortality reduction).
Conclusions There are significant opportunities for Government and industry to reduce CVD mortality through evidence-based food policies.
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