WASHINGTON — The Institute of Medicine, a part of the National Academies of Science, has initiated a study that will review the impact of sodium reduction efforts on public health. Specifically, an I.O.M. committee has been convened to evaluate the results, study design and methodological approaches that have been used to assess the relationship between sodium and health outcomes.

Of primary interest to the committee are the potential benefits or adverse impacts in the overall population and for population subgroups, such as those with hypertension, pre-hypertension, chronic heart failure, diabetes, persons 51 years and older, and African Americans. The I.O.M. committee will prepare a report focusing on data after 2003, but including prior data as needed on subjects such as the quality of the literature reviewed; both the benefits and adverse outcomes of reduced population sodium intake, particularly to levels of 1,500 mg to less than 2,300 mg per day, and emphasizing relevant subgroups; implications for population-based strategies to reduce sodium intake; and data and method gaps and suggested ways to address them.

The project was started on Sept. 17 and it is estimated the report will be published within 9 months of the start date. The study is being sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.