Salt Substitute and Stroke Study (SSaSS) 2017 annual meeting was successfully held

On July 30, 2017, the 'Salt Substitute and Stroke Study' (SSaSS) 2017 annual meeting was held in Xiongan New District, Baoding, Hebei Province. More than 40 delegates attended the meeting, reported project progress and shared experiences. Participants included Principal Investigators from China and Australia, local Project Investigators, Project Coordinators, and government officials from the local Health and Family Planning Committee and Centers for Disease Control.

The 'Salt Substitute and Stroke Study', also known as the ‘SSaSS’ study, is a five-year, large-scale cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT) led by The George Institute for Global Health and The George Institute, China. The primary objective of the study is to assess the effect of reducing sodium intake by using low sodium high potassium salt on stroke onset and death. The secondary objective is to explore the effect of low sodium high potassium salt on major cardiovascular events (a composite of non-fatal stroke, non-fatal acute coronary syndromes and vascular death) and total mortality. At present, the project has been successfully implemented in all participating provinces for three years.

Hebei Province CDC Director Cui Ze delivered a speech to welcome the arrival of the participants. Study Principal Investigators, Professor Bruce NEAL from The George Institute for Global Health, and Professor Yangfeng Wu from The George Institute China delivered welcome remarks, expressed gratitude to all the team members for their hard-work and support over the past three year, and thanked the whole team overcoming various obstacles during the course of the project. Professor Yangfeng Wu also expressed special gratitude to SinoKone Technology Company for their contribution to the project.

In the year of 2016, the team completed the 18-month and 24-month follow-ups by home visiting all study participants. The 2-year process indicator survey was also collected in all provinces. Meanwhile, researchers explored the feasibility and validity of the use of new rural corporative medical system and death registration system for subsequent follow-ups. Over the past three years, the project teams have completed the work of the low-sodium salt of 300 villages each year, collected 5,059 spot urine samples and 4430 24 hour urine samples, and conducted 76204 times of home-visits.

"This is a very great and exciting achievement. Working with such a professional team under the strong support of local partners, I have confidence in our future work and the final result,” said Professor Neal.

Professor Wu addressed that the ‘SSaSS’ study is the world's first and largest study using the most robust design, aiming to reduce the cardiovascular risk and mortality by limiting the amount of salt intake. Through the effective coordination among the study team and the joint effort provided by all levels of collaboration, we will achieve high quality research results.

Professor WU continued saying that “We are working as a group, to promote the population health, believing in that high-quality result will not only benefit the local population, but also have an impact on the health of people across the country, or even around the world.”

The welcome remarks were followed by project review and progress report delivered by Jesse Hao, senior project manager and Maoyi Tian, senior research fellow at TGI China, and group discussion. The meeting substantially enhanced communication among the study participants, allowing the participants to have a comprehensive understanding of the study on the whole, and to be better prepared for the implementation of high-quality research work in the coming years.