New Research Shows High Salt Intake Doubles the Risk of Heart Failure

New research presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Barcelona has shown that a high salt intake is associated with an increased risk of heart failure, independent of blood pressure, cholesterol and body mass index. The prospective study included 4630 individuals aged 25-64 years who participated in the North Karelia Salt Study and the National FINRISK Study between 1979 and 2002. Sodium concentration was measured using 24 hour urine. After 12 years the study sample was followed up, in which time 121 participants had developed heart failure. The results found that those who had the highest salt intakes (>13.73g/day) had double the risk of heart failure compared to those who consumed the least (<6.76g/day).

Whilst this study does not prove that a high salt intake causes heart failure, it highlights the importance of reducing salt intakes in order to improve health. CASH Chairman Professor Graham MacGregor 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".   

You can access the abstract for the study here.