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CSPI Comments for AHRQ Draft Systematic Review: Effects of Dietary Sodium and Potassium Intake on Chronic Disease Outcomes and Related Risk Factors

The report overall brings much‐needed clarity to the broad body of evidence on sodium and potassium but CSPI says it has limitations.

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In comments filed January 12, 2018, with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Center for Science in the Public Interest commented that the report may resolve some of the confusion and
inconsistency in this body of evidence on sodium and potassium. However, CSPI acknowledges that the report could further resolve confusion and inconsistency in the sodium literature by basing its conclusions on only the highest‐quality randomized trials and observational studies, even if these are few in number.

CSPI says the report would have reached stronger conclusions if it had excluded studies at high risk of bias. The group called on AHRQ to limit its review to studies at low risk of bias, even if the remaining, higher‐quality studies were few. At a minimum, AHRQ could have looked separately at the evidence from studies with a high vs. low risk of bias and based its conclusions on studies at low risk of bias.

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