Date of Award


Degree Type

Closed Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mathematics and Statistics

First Advisor

Gengsheng (Jeff) Qin

Second Advisor

Mary Cogswell

Third Advisor

Quanhe Yang

Fourth Advisor

Xin Qi


Strong evidence has linked dietary sodium intake to blood pressure, but the effects of sodium intake on cardiovascular diseases (CVD) outcomes remain elusive, especially for older population. We examined the association between estimated usual sodium intake and CVD and all-cause mortality in a nationally representative sample of 4068 US adults aged 51 and older surveyed in 1988-1994. After a mean follow-up of 12.9 years from 1988 to 2006, 1680 participants died: 734 from CVD; 392 from ischemic heart disease (IHD); and 144 from stroke. In the Cox proportional models adjusted for sociodemographic variables and CVD risk factors, sodium intake was not significantly associated with all-cause, CVD, IHD and stroke mortality. No significant interactions were observed between sodium intake and sex, race/ethnicity, hypertension status, body mass index or physical activity for any of the outcomes studied. However, among Mexican-Americans sodium intake was significantly and linearly associated with CVD mortality.