A DIP in people's salt consumption has played an important role in the plummeting number of heart disease deaths, researchers have said.
Between 2003 and 2011, average salt intake in England fell by about 15 per cent while the number of deaths from heart disease fell by 40 per cent and stroke deaths by 42 per cent, the study found.
The reduction in salt intake is likely to have played a key role in the dip in deaths, according to the research.
But the authors cautioned that the average salt consumption around the country is still far too high and said that more needs to be done to reduce people's salt intake.
They said that a reduction in salt reduces blood pressure - which is a major risk factor for heart disease.
The research, published in the journal BMJ Open, examined 31,500 people's risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease from Health Survey England results in 2003, 2006, 2008 and 2011.