High salt intake is linked with a doubled risk of heart failure. The statement is according to a 12-year study in more than 4,000 people existing today at ESC Congress.
Does high salt intake double the risk of heart failure?
“High salt (sodium chloride) intake is one of the key causes of high blood pressure and an independent risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke,” said Prof Pekka Jousilahti, research professor at the National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland. “In addition to CHD and stroke, heart failure is one of the major cardiovascular diseases in Europe and globally but the role of high salt intake in its development is unknown.”
This study evaluated the relationship of salt intake and the development of heart failure. Assessment of individual salt intake is systematically demanding and therefore suitable population-based cohorts are rare. This study used 24 hour sodium extraction, which is deliberated the gold standard for salt intake assessment at individual level.
This was a follow-up study of 4 630 unsystematically selected men and women aged 25 to 64 years at baseline. Baseline data collection comprised a self-administered questionnaire on health behavior, measurements of weight, height and blood pressure. It also includes a venous blood sample for laboratory analysis, and collection of a 24 hour urine sample.
At the study site, nurses sedate urine volume and took a 100 ml sample for laboratory analysis. One gram of salt intake was calculated as equal to 17.1 mmol sodium excretions.
The study cohort was followed up for 12 years through computerized register linkage to National Health Records. Cases of instance heart failure were identified from the Causes of Death Register, the Hospital Discharge Register and drug reimbursement records. The association of salt intake in quintiles and the risk of an incident new heart failures event were assessed.
During the follow-up, 121 men and women established new heart failures. In an age, sex, study year and area adjusted model, danger ratios in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th salt consumption quintiles, compared to the 1st one, were: 0.83, 1.40, 1.70 and 2.10. After further alteration for systolic blood pressure, serum total cholesterol level and body mass file the hazard ratios. The hazard ratios were: 1.13, 1.45, 1.56 and 1.75, respectively.
Prof Jousilahti said: “The heart does not like salt. High salt intake markedly upsurges the risk of heart failure. This salt-related upsurge in heart failures risk was independent of blood pressure.” “People who consumed more than 13.7 grams of salt daily had a two times higher risk of heart failure. Compared to those consuming less than 6.8 grams,” he continued.
“The prime daily salt intake is probably even lower than 6.8 grams. The World Health Organization endorses a maximum of 5 grams per day. And the physiological need is 2 to 3 grams per day.”
Prof Jousilahti finished: “Studies in larger, pooled population cohorts are needed to make more detailed estimations of the increased heart failure risk associated with consuming salt.”
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