Navigation Links
Low-Salt Diet May Not Be Best for Heart

Study finding contradicts conventional wisdom

WEDNESDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- Surprising new research suggests that a diet low in salt may be worse for your heart than eating lots of salt, but don't start eating potato chips just yet.

"No one should run out and buy a salt shaker to try to improve their cardiovascular health. But we think it's reasonable to say that different people have different needs," said study author Dr. Hillel W. Cohen, an associate professor of epidemiology and population health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University.

The study, published online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, doesn't confirm that a low-salt diet itself is bad for the heart. But it does say that people who eat the least salt suffer from the highest rates of death from cardiac disease.

"Our findings suggest that one cannot simply assume, without evidence, that lower salt diets 'can't hurt,' " Cohen said.

Cohen and his colleagues looked at a federal health survey of about 8,700 Americans between 1988 and 1994. All were over 30, and none were on special low-salt diets.

The researchers then checked to see what happened to the volunteers by the year 2000.

Even after the researchers adjusted their statistics to account for the effect of cardiac risk factors like smoking and diabetes, the 25 percent of the population who ate the least salt were 80 percent more likely to die of cardiac disease than the 25 percent who ate the most salt.

Cohen doesn't discount that salt could be bad for some people. However, "the main argument for reducing salt in prevention of heart disease has been that there's a relationship between higher sodium and higher blood pressure," he said. "There have been many studies of this relationship, but when one actually looks at the numbers, the average blood pressure difference associated with quite a bit of sodium intake is very modest."

He questions telling healthy people to cut down on salt, especially when modest changes may have no effect. "For most people, especially those whose blood pressure is normal, why are you telling them they shouldn't have salt?"

The study was not designed to detect a direct cause-and-effect relationship between consumption of salt and cardiac death. Instead, it only looked at a potential link. It's possible that salt consumption could reflect some other factor that's playing a greater role, although Cohen said the researchers tried to account for that possibility.

Existing disease could be a hidden factor, said Howard Sesso, an assistant professor of medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. According to him, the study authors may not have been able to account for every survey participant who reduced salt intake because of heart disease, high blood pressure or diabetes.

Overall, Sesso said, research about the hazards of salt remains mixed. "Patients with normal blood pressure can continue to consume salt, but in moderation and keeping in mind that it is the entire dietary portfolio that matters most."

More information

Learn more about salt from the American Heart Association.

SOURCES: Hillel W. Cohen, M.D., associate professor, epidemiology and population health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, New York City; Howard D. Sesso, Sc.D., M.P.H., assistant professor, medicine, Division of Preventive Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston; May 15, 2008, Journal of General Internal Medicine, online

Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Heart Failure Patients Overestimate Their Life Expectancy
2. VIDEO from Medialink and Abiomed: Worlds Smallest Heart Pump Receives 510(K) Clearance from FDA
3. American Italian Pasta Company Extends Line of Healthier Pastas With Heartland(R) Perfect Balance
4. Members of European Parliament discuss food labeling and heart health
5. Black Athletes Hearts May Differ From Those of Whites
6. Some Fats Deserve Change of Heart
7. Genetic Disorder Drug Helps Reverse Heart Muscle Enlargement
8. Multiple Independent Studies Report on Use of Cylexs Immune Cell Function Assay in Postoperative Monitoring of Kidney, Liver, and Heart Transplant Recipients
9. American Heart Association Survey Reveals Americans Lack Confidence in Lifesaving Skills for Common Cardiac Emergency
10. New Calcium Measure Better Predictor of Heart Risks
11. Many With Heart Disease Dont Know Signs of Heart Attack
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Low-Salt Diet May Not Be Best for Heart
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... ... ClinicoEconomics and Outcomes Research has published the ... ”. , As corresponding author Dr Ankita Modi says “Pre-existing gastrointestinal events may ... a large US managed care database, women aged 55 years or older with ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... ... Hospital Tampa is the first health care provider in the region to offer the ... is a vagal blocking therapy, delivered via the Maestro® System, for the treatment of adult ... least 40 to 45 kg, or a BMI of at least 35 to 39.9 kg ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... Fla. (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... number of leadless pacemakers in the U.S. and is the only hospital in ... from the largest clinical data presentation of transcatheter pacing patients were revealed recently ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Speech and physical therapies ... with innovative technologies and under the right circumstances, these practices can be merged. ... a dual-approach to his or her therapeutic sessions, as well as gives the ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... December 1, 2015—Since the ... in scientific research and discoveries, leading us to better understand the disease’s behavior. ... those affected by HIV/AIDS. Mediaplanet’s cross-platform edition of “World AIDS Day” provides insight ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... DUBLIN , Dec. 01, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... announced the addition of the "Medium ... Adhesives, Sealants, Lubricants, and Other Applications - ... and Forecast, 2015 - 2023" report ... ) has announced the addition of the ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , Dec. 01, 2015 ... the addition of the "Spinal Muscular ... Trends, and Forecast 2015 - 2023" ... ) has announced the addition of ... Pipeline Assessment, Size, Growth, Trends, and Forecast ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... 1, 2015   Nottingham Spirk , a ... the publication of a free whitepaper , ... Market". The whitepaper gives medical product companies, pharmaceutical ... this lucrative segment. Nottingham Spirk ... manage their own health, save money (i.e., fewer ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: