Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

MS in Physician Assistant Studies (PA)


Physician Assistant Studies


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, with dietary sodium intake identified as a critical risk factor. This systematic review comprehensively examines the existing literature on sodium intake and its impact on cardiovascular health in Costa Rica. Fifteen relevant studies were analyzed, revealing concerning patterns of sodium consumption, particularly among youngsters and adolescents, with processed and fast foods being major contributors. High sodium intake was consistently associated with elevated blood pressure, a well-established CVD risk factor. The review also assessed sodium reduction initiatives and strategies, demonstrating the potential benefits of interventions in reducing cardiovascular risk. Challenges in addressing sodium consumption in Costa Rica include promoting healthier dietary habits from a young age, collaborating with the food industry for stricter regulations, and addressing socioeconomic disparities in healthcare access. The review highlights the need for evidence-based interventions and policies to reduce the burden of CVD in Costa Rica. Future research should explore longitudinal trends in sodium intake and cardiovascular outcomes, conduct qualitative studies on perception and barriers to sodium reduction, and evaluate the long-term effectiveness of interventions. Implementing targeted public health campaigns and industry regulations can promote healthier eating behaviors and improve overall cardiovascular well-being in the population.


SC 11.PAS.2023.Hillebrand.B