The American Heart Association encourages people to consume no more than 1,500 milligrams a day of sodium to reduce their risk of high blood pressure, heart attacks, stroke and kidney disease. This is less than half of what people consume now.

One reason for this advice: Elevated blood pressure is a major public health problem approximately 90% of all Americans will develop hypertension over their lifetime, the heart association says.

But a new European population study coordinated in Belgium raises questions about sodium and its effect on the heart.

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