Monday, August 28, 2017

Your Heart Does Not Like Salt!



Too much salt more than doubles the risk of heart failure, a new study shows.

Finnish scientists tracked more than 4,000 adults, comparing their dietary habits with cardiac problems.

They found those who consumed the most salt were 110 per cent more likely to develop heart failure - one of Britain’s major killers.

Research has long linked salt to high-blood pressure.

But the new study showed that it does serious damage to the heart, even when scientists accounted for high-blood pressure.

Researchers tracked 4,630 healthy adults aged between 25 and 64 for an average of 12 years.

Lead researcher Professor Pekka Jousilahti, from the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Helsinki, said: “The heart does not like salt. High salt intake markedly increases the risk of heart failure.

“This salt-related increase in heart failure risk was independent of blood pressure.”

Heart failure is the leading cause of hospital admissions among pensioners.

More than half a million people in the UK suffer with heart failure, which means the heart struggles to pump blood around the body.

Around half of patients die within five years of diagosis.

The findings were presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Barcelona.

Researchers divided participants into five groups, depending on their salt intake, by measuring levels in their urine.

Those eating the most salt had an intake of over 13.7g daily – more than double the UK recommendations.

Prof Jousilahti said: “People who consumed more than 13.7 grams of salt daily had a two times higher risk of heart failure compared to those consuming less than 6.8 grams.

“The optimal daily salt intake is probably even lower than 6.8 grams.”

The World Health Organization recommends a maximum of 5g per day.

And in the UK, health officials suggest adults have no more than 6g daily.

Graham MacGregor, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at Queen Mary University of London and Chairman of Consensus Action on Salt and Health, said: “This is a very important study. It is a powerful message that we need to be more ambitious in cutting salt from our diet.

“We have an ageing population and heart failure is becoming increasingly common. And it is a terrible way to die, I would rather die of cancer than heart failure.”

Average salt intake in Britain is now 8g a day, down from 8.8g a decade earlier, official statistics show.

It comes after food manufacturers were set stringent targets to reduce salt content in common foods.

Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said: "We need to consume some salt in our diet but most western diets have salt intakes much greater than the amount required to be healthy.

"There is a clear relationship between eating too much salt and your risk of having high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.”

"This study shows that eating too much salt is also linked with increased risk of heart failure, a debilitating and irreversible condition,” he added.

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