Health and Fitness

Does Cutting Back on Salt Help Improve Heart Failure?

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

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

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

Sufferers with coronary heart failure have been advised for years to scale back the salt of their weight loss program as a method to assist extend life, however amongst greater than 800 sufferers from six international locations, lowering salt consumption did not forestall deaths, visits to the emergency room or hospitalizations, the researchers discovered.

Nonetheless, “we do think that there is a small amount to be gained by reducing the amount of sodium in the diet,” mentioned researcher Dr. Justin Ezekowitz, a professor within the division of cardiology on the College of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.

The sufferers within the examine have been already consuming quite a bit much less salt than most People eat, though that they had not achieved the optimum aim of the quantity of salt really helpful, he defined.

“The expected goal is not reducing clinical events necessarily, but it does improve quality of life, which might be very important for individual patients,” Ezekowitz mentioned.

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 have been randomly assigned to obtain ordinary care, and the remainder obtained dietary counseling on the way to additional scale back their dietary salt consumption.

Sufferers who obtained counseling got menu ideas and inspired to prepare dinner at house and never add salt. They have been additionally urged to keep away from salty meals.

Sufferers have 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 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 each day, whereas those that obtained dietary steering 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 program 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 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.

“People should continue to be concerned about the amount of salt in their diet and continue to reduce the sodium in their diet overall,” Ezekowitz mentioned. “There may be benefits that we didn’t measure in our clinical trial that they might get from reducing salt in the diet. A low-salt diet may actually improve their overall quality of life. The real take-home is that a low-sodium diet remains an important part for most patients.”

The report was revealed on-line April 2 in The Lancetjournaland was offered 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, mentioned for many years sufferers with coronary heart failure have been suggested to limit their salt consumption.

“This longstanding, widely accepted recommendation was based on a physiologic rationale, clinical observation and expert opinion rather than having been demonstrated in prospective, randomized clinical trials,” he famous.

Whereas newer tips for coronary heart failure have acknowledged the uncertainty about the advantages of lowering salt, many sufferers have nonetheless been advised to cut back their salt to very low ranges, Fonarow mentioned.

“The evidence from this very important randomized clinical trial suggests that dietary sodium restriction to a target of less than 1,500 mg per day in patients with heart failure did not reduce mortality, cardiovascular-related hospitalization or cardiovascular-related emergency room visits,” he mentioned.

For sufferers with coronary heart failure, it stays unclear whether or not any stage of salt restriction provides medical advantages, Fonarow mentioned.

“Yet it is important to keep in mind the usual care comparison group was consuming a little over 2,000 mg of sodium daily, which is still lower than the 3,400 mg of sodium that is the average amount consumed in the U.S. by the general population,” he mentioned.

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

The important thing to dwelling with coronary heart failure is to observe the confirmed therapy recommendation, he mentioned.

“Importantly, use and adherence to disease-modifying guidelines and medical therapy have been shown to be the best and safest way to improve clinical outcomes for patients with heart failure,” Fonarow mentioned.

Extra info

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