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© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2020. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ. BACKGROUND: Reducing dietary sodium (salt) intake has been proposed as a population-wide strategy to reduce blood pressure and cardiovascular disease (CVD). The cost-effectiveness of such strategies has hitherto not been investigated in Cameroon. METHODS: A multicohort multistate life table Markov model was used to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of three population salt reduction strategies: mass media campaign, school-based salt education programme and low-sodium salt substitute. A healthcare system perspective was considered and adults alive in 2016 were simulated over the life course. Outcomes were changes in disease incidence, mortality, health-adjusted life years (HALYs), healthcare costs and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) over the lifetime. Probabilistic sensitivity analysis was used to quantify uncertainty. RESULTS: Over the life span of the cohort of adults alive in Cameroon in 2016, substantial numbers of new CVD events could be prevented, with over 10 000, 79 000 and 84 000 CVD deaths that could be averted from mass media, school education programme and salt substitute interventions, respectively. Population health gains over the lifetime were 46 700 HALYs, 348 800 HALYs and 368 400 HALYs for the mass media, school education programme and salt substitute interventions, respectively. ICERs showed that all interventions were dominant, with probabilities of being cost-saving of 84% for the school education programme, 89% for the mass media campaign and 99% for the low sodium salt substitute. Results were largely robust in sensitivity analysis. CONCLUSION: All the salt reduction strategies evaluated were highly cost-effective with very high probabilities of being cost-saving. Salt reduction in Cameroon has the potential to save many lives and offers good value for money.

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BMJ open

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