An article in The Journal of The American Medical Association (May 4, 2011. Vol. 305, N. 17) looked at the influence dietary salt had in cardiovascular disease. The authors studied 3681 subjects for a median of 7.9 years. What the researchers found made headlines in major newspapers.
The scientists reported that there was a direct, inverse linear correlation between the amount of salt ingested and the rate of cardiovascular deaths.
What that means is that as salt intake went up, cardiovascular deaths went down. They stratified the subjects into three groups; a low, medium and high salt intake group. The death rates declined as the subjects ate more salt: from 4.1% in the lowest group to 1.9% in the medium group and 0.8% in the highest group.