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
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.
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
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,
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
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