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 dangerous information on how a lot it will provide help to to chop again on salt.

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

Sufferers with heart failure have been instructed for years to reduce the salt in their diet as a approach to assist lengthen life, however amongst greater than 800 sufferers from six nations, lowering salt consumption did not forestall deaths, visits to the emergency room or hospitalizations, the researchers discovered.

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

The sufferers within the research had been already consuming quite a bit much less salt than most People eat, though they’d not achieved the optimum purpose of the quantity of salt beneficial, he defined.

“The anticipated purpose will not be lowering scientific occasions essentially, but it surely does enhance high quality of life, which is perhaps crucial for particular person sufferers,” Ezekowitz stated.

For the research, 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 regular care, and the remaining acquired nutritional counseling on additional scale back their dietary salt consumption.

Sufferers who acquired counseling got menu solutions and inspired to cook dinner at house 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 research, sufferers added a median of two,217 mg per day, or about one teaspoon. After one yr, these not receiving dietary recommendation ate a median of two,072 mg of salt every day, whereas those that acquired dietary steerage ate 1,658 mg per day.

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

Ezekowitz thinks that these outcomes may need been totally different if the research 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 in regards to the quantity of salt of their weight loss plan and proceed to cut back the sodium of their weight loss plan total,” Ezekowitz stated. “There could also be advantages that we did not measure in our clinical trial that they may get from lowering salt within the weight loss plan. A low-salt weight loss plan may very well enhance their total high quality of life. The true take-home is {that a} low-sodium weight loss plan stays an vital half for many sufferers.”

The report was printed on-line April 2 in The Lancetjournaland was offered on the American School 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, extensively accepted suggestion was primarily based on a physiologic rationale, scientific commentary and professional opinion quite than having been demonstrated in potential, randomized scientific trials,” he famous.

Whereas more moderen tips for coronary heart failure have acknowledged the uncertainty about the advantages of lowering salt, many sufferers have nonetheless been instructed to cut 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 stage of salt restriction presents scientific advantages, Fonarow stated.

“But you will need to take note the standard care comparability group was consuming a little bit over 2,000 mg of sodium every day, which continues 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 talk about with their physician how these new findings would possibly apply to them, Fonarow stated.

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

“Importantly, use and adherence to disease-modifying tips and medical remedy have been proven to be the very best and most secure approach 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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