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Nutrition, Vitamins & Supplements for Seniors

Salt intake by seniors not linked to mortality, cardiovascular disease or heart failure

New study indicates salt consumption not as bad for senior citizens as many assumed

Jan. 19, 2015 - Most seniors like the taste of salt but are also aware of the frequent health warnings about consuming too much. A new study, however, has come up with a surprising finding - eating salt was not associated with mortality or risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and health failure (HF) in senior citizens.

The study published online by JAMA Internal Medicine is based on self-reported estimated sodium intake.

 

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Salt Intake Restrictions for Seniors, Others Questioned by Institute of Medicine

Potential harm from too little salt? Lack of evidence to support current guidelines

May 15, 2013

Read the latest news on Nutrition, Vitamins, Supplements for Seniors

 

Data on sodium restriction among older adults are scarce, especially those with their blood pressure on target. Achieving a sodium intake of less than 1,500 mg/day as currently recommended for adults over 50 also is difficult for older adults in part because of long-held dietary habits. So the incremental benefit of restricting sodium to lower targets needs to be evaluated, according to background information.

Andreas P. Kalogeropoulos, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., of Emory University, Atlanta, and coauthors looked at the association between dietary sodium intake and mortality, CVD and HF in a group of 2,642 adults who ranged in age from 71 to 80 (51.2 percent of the participants were female and 61.7 percent were white).

The authors analyzed 10-year follow-up data on the adults who were participating in this community-based study where dietary sodium intake was assessed at baseline with a questionnaire.

After 10 years, 881 of the participants had died, 572 had developed CVD and 398 had developed HF. Sodium intake was not associated with mortality, or new development of  CVD or HF, according to study results. Ten-year mortality rates were 33.8 percent, 30.7 percent and 35.2 percent among participants consuming less than 1,500 mg/d, 1,500 to 2,300 mg/d, and greater than 2,300 mg/d of sodium, respectively.

“In conclusion, we observed that sodium intake estimated by FFQ (food frequency questionnaire) was not associated with mortality or risk for CVD and HF in a cohort of adults 71 to 80 years old. … Our data emphasize the need for stronger evidence, preferably from rigorous controlled trials testing additional thresholds for sodium intake, before applying a policy of further sodium restriction to older adults beyond the current recommendation for the general adult population (2,300 mg/d),” the study concludes.

This study was supported in part by grants from the Intramural Research Program of the National Institutes of Health and grants from the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of Nursing Research and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.

>> JAMA Intern Med. Published online January 19, 2015.

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