Does Cutting Back on Salt Help Improve Heart Failure?


By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, April 5, 2022 (HealthDay Information) — When you’ve got heart failure, there’s excellent news and unhealthy information on how a lot it might aid you to chop again on salt.

New analysis finds that whereas it does not forestall demise or hospitalization amongst sufferers, it does seem to enhance their high quality of life.

Sufferers with heart failure have been informed for years to reduce the salt in their diet as a manner to assist delay life, however amongst greater than 800 sufferers from six international locations, decreasing salt consumption did not forestall deaths, visits to the emergency room or hospitalizations, the researchers discovered.

Nonetheless, “we do suppose that there’s a small quantity to be gained by decreasing the quantity of sodium within the food regimen,” stated researcher Dr. Justin Ezekowitz, a professor within the division of cardiology on the College of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.

The sufferers within the examine had been already consuming so much much less salt than most Individuals devour, though they’d not achieved the optimum purpose of the quantity of salt really helpful, he defined.

“The anticipated purpose isn’t decreasing scientific occasions essentially, but it surely does enhance high quality of life, which could be crucial for particular person sufferers,” Ezekowitz stated.

For the examine, the analysis staff adopted coronary heart failure sufferers from 26 medical facilities in Australia, Canada, Colombia, Chile, Mexico and New Zealand. Half had been randomly assigned to obtain typical care, and the remaining obtained nutritional counseling on tips on how to additional scale back their dietary salt consumption.

Sufferers who obtained counseling got menu strategies and inspired to cook dinner at residence and never add salt. They had been additionally urged to keep away from salty meals.

Sufferers had been requested to maintain their salt consumption to 1,500 milligrams (mg) per day — about two-thirds of a teaspoon. Earlier than the examine, sufferers added a mean of two,217 mg per day, or about one teaspoon. After one yr, these not receiving dietary recommendation ate a mean of two,072 mg of salt day by day, whereas those that obtained dietary steering ate 1,658 mg per day.

Though Ezekowitz’s group did not discover vital variations in deaths or hospitalizations between the 2 teams of sufferers, these on the low-salt food regimen did present enchancment in high quality of life and within the severity of their coronary heart failure.

Ezekowitz thinks that these outcomes might need been completely different if the examine had gone on longer or if the degrees of salt consumption had been even decrease.

The findings usually are not a license to eat as a lot salt as you want, he added.

“Individuals ought to proceed to be involved concerning the quantity of salt of their food regimen and proceed to scale back the sodium of their food regimen total,” Ezekowitz stated. “There could also be advantages that we did not measure in our clinical trial that they may get from decreasing salt within the food regimen. A low-salt food regimen may very well enhance their total high quality of life. The actual take-home is {that a} low-sodium food regimen stays an vital half for many sufferers.”

The report was printed on-line April 2 in The Lancetjournaland was introduced on the American Faculty of Cardiology annual assembly in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Gregg Fonarow, interim chief of the division of cardiology at College of California, Los Angeles, stated for many years sufferers with coronary heart failure have been suggested to limit their salt consumption.

“This longstanding, broadly accepted advice was based mostly on a physiologic rationale, scientific commentary and professional opinion somewhat than having been demonstrated in potential, randomized scientific trials,” he famous.

Whereas newer pointers for coronary heart failure have acknowledged the uncertainty about the advantages of decreasing salt, many sufferers have nonetheless been informed to scale back their salt to very low ranges, Fonarow stated.

“The proof from this crucial randomized scientific trial means that dietary sodium restriction to a goal of lower than 1,500 mg per day in sufferers with coronary heart failure didn’t scale back mortality, cardiovascular-related hospitalization or cardiovascular-related emergency room visits,” he stated.

For sufferers with coronary heart failure, it stays unclear whether or not any degree of salt restriction presents scientific advantages, Fonarow stated.

“But you will need to have in mind the same old care comparability group was consuming somewhat over 2,000 mg of sodium day by day, which remains to be decrease than the three,400 mg of sodium that’s the common quantity consumed within the U.S. by the final inhabitants,” he stated.

Sufferers with coronary heart failure ought to focus on with their physician how these new findings would possibly apply to them, Fonarow stated.

The important thing to dwelling with heart failure is to comply with the confirmed therapy recommendation, he stated.

“Importantly, use and adherence to disease-modifying pointers and medical remedy have been proven to be the most effective and most secure manner to enhance scientific outcomes for sufferers with coronary heart failure,” Fonarow stated.

Extra data

For extra on salt and coronary heart well being, head to the American Coronary heart Affiliation.

SOURCES: Justin Ezekowitz, MBBCh, professor, division of cardiology, College of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada; Gregg Fonarow, MD, interim chief, UCLA Division of Cardiology, Los Angeles; The Lancet, April 2, 2022, on-line

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