Tags: salt | intake | death | risk

High Salt Intake, Death Risk Directly Linked, New Study Says

High Salt Intake, Death Risk Directly Linked, New Study Says
(Dreamstime)

By    |   Monday, 25 June 2018 08:06 AM

High salt intake from foods and risk of death are directly linked, claims a new Brigham and Women's Hospital study which suggests past research missed the correlation because sodium intake in studies was inaccurately estimated. The Boston hospital is affiliated with Harvard Medical School.

The newest study, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, used multiple measurements to confirm how eating foods high in salt can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and death, and not just high blood pressure.

“Sodium is notoriously hard to measure," said Nancy Cook, a biostatistician at Brigham and Women's Hospital. "Sodium is hidden – you often don't know how much of it you're eating, which makes it hard to estimate how much a person has consumed from a dietary questionnaire.”

"Sodium excretions are the best measure, but there are many ways of collecting those. In our work, we used multiple measures to get a more accurate picture," Cook said.

Brigham and Women's Hospital said that while some studies have used spot tests to learn how much salt has been excreted in a person's urine samples, the tests could be inaccurate because of the fluctuation of sodium intake a person has in a 24-hour period and the course of multiple days.

The hospital said it assessed the results of nearly 3,000 individuals with pre-hypertension in the Trials of Hypertension Prevention study on a gold-standard method of taking the average of multiple, non-consecutive urine samples to more accurately gauge salt intake.

The new testing found a direct linear relationship between increased sodium intake and increased risk of death, while a common Kawasaki formula used to judge salt intake suggested a J-shaped curve, which would imply that both low levels and high levels of sodium consumption were associated with increased mortality, the hospital noted.

"Our findings indicate that inaccurate measurement of sodium intake could be an important contributor to the paradoxical J-shaped findings reported in some cohort studies," the study's authors wrote. "Epidemiological studies should not associate health outcomes with unreliable estimates of sodium intake."

Harvard University's T.H. Chan School of Public Health said high salt intake has long played havoc on the kidneys and the heart, forcing the body to hold onto water to dilute the excess sodium.

That increase in both the amount of fluid surrounding cells and the volume of blood in the bloodstream forces the heart to work harder and put more pressure on blood vessels, the school said on its website.

That can eventually lead to the stiffening of blood vessels, leading to high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.

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High salt intake from foods and risk of death are directly linked, claims a new Brigham and Women's Hospital study which suggests past research missed the correlation because sodium intake in studies was inaccurately estimated. The Boston hospital is affiliated with Harvard Medical School.
salt, intake, death, risk
428
2018-06-25
Monday, 25 June 2018 08:06 AM
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