The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends to follow dietary sodium goal to reduce the risk of stroke.

A study published in the journal Stroke surveyed 2,657 men and women from New York and found that majority consumed almost 3,000 milligrams of sodium per day which is way above the 1,500 milligram per day limit set by AHA.

The increased level of sodium was found to have a link with the risk of stroke in a span of ten years.

At the start of the study all the participants were around 69 years of age. They were all given a questionnaire about their diet and lifestyle.

235 cases of stroke were reported during the study period (of ten years). It was found that people who consumed more than 4,000 milligrams of sodium were three times more likely to suffer from a stroke than people who consumed less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds. Every four minutes someone dies of stroke.

Conclusions can’t be drawn about cause and effect said Hannah Gardener, researcher at the University of Miami, School and lead author of the study of Medicine to Reuters Health.

She added that people need to “read the labels” in order to stay within the limits set by AHA. She also suggested that people to stick to whole foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains as much as possible.

A stroke is when the blood supply to part of the brain is suddenly interrupted or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts, spilling blood into the spaces surrounding brain cells. Brain cells die when they no longer receive oxygen and nutrients from the blood or there is sudden bleeding into or around the brain.

The symptoms include sudden dizziness, numbness or weakness especially on one side of the body, loss of balance or co-ordination.

A Japanese study reports sodium intake increases risk of death from stroke published in the journal Stroke.

The risk of stroke depends on certain factors like heredity, age, gender and ethnicity. However, people can still reduce the chances of stroke by adopting a healthier lifestyle.

In 2010, stroke cost United States an estimated $53.9 billion. This total includes the cost of health care services, medications, and missed days of work, according to CDC.