Lesser sodium and better potassium consumption related to decrease heart problems threat

Decrease sodium consumption and better potassium consumption is linked with decrease threat of heart problems (CVD) in most individuals, in line with a research led by Harvard T.H. Chan Faculty of Public Well being researchers.

Methodological limitations in prior observational research have led to confusion about whether or not lowering present ranges of sodium within the food regimen will increase CVD threat. Our research mixed high-quality particular person participant information from six cohort research the place sodium was measured by the at the moment most dependable technique, specifically, a number of 24-hour urine samples. Our outcomes ought to assist make clear sodium’s position in CVD—that decrease consumption is related to decrease threat of CVD in most populations, together with within the U.S.”

Yuan Ma, first writer, analysis scientist, Division of Epidemiology, Harvard Chan Faculty

The research was revealed on-line November 13, 2021 within the New England Journal of Medication.

Sodium, one of many elements of desk salt, is of course present in some meals, however excessive quantities of sodium are often added to commercially processed, packaged, and ready meals. The U.S. Meals and Drug Administration lately launched new voluntary steering encouraging the meals business to regularly cut back sodium—linked in earlier analysis with elevated blood strain—in commercially produced meals over the subsequent two and a half years.

Potassium has an reverse impact within the physique—it may well assist chill out blood vessels and improve sodium excretion whereas reducing blood strain. Wealthy sources of potassium embody fruits, leafy greens, beans, nuts, dairy meals, and starchy greens like winter squash.

The connection between sodium consumption and the chance of CVD has been controversial, in line with the research authors. Complete information, together with these from randomized trials, have constantly proven that as each day sodium consumption will increase, so does blood strain, and as blood strain will increase, so does the chance of CVD. A couple of cohort research prompt that decrease sodium consumption is related to elevated threat of CVD. Nonetheless, these research assessed sodium consumption utilizing strategies liable to measurement errors, equivalent to spot urine or single 24-hour samples which might be unreliable for estimating particular person regular sodium consumption.

Within the new research, the researchers performed a pooled evaluation of six potential cohort research: the Well being Professionals Observe-up Examine, the Nurses’ Well being Examine, the Nurses’ Well being Examine II, the Prevention of REnal and Vascular ENd-stage Illness research, and the Trials of Hypertension Prevention Observe-up research. The researchers analyzed the person sodium and potassium excretion information and the incidence of CVD—which incorporates coronary coronary heart illness or stroke. The information got here from a number of 24-hour urine samples—essentially the most dependable technique for assessing sodium consumption—that have been taken from greater than 10,000 typically wholesome adults with a research follow-up of CVD occasions for a median of practically 9 years. A complete of 571 cardiovascular occasions have been documented through the cohort research.

After accounting for a variety of cardiovascular threat elements, the researchers decided that increased sodium consumption, as measured by a number of 24-hour urine samples, was considerably related to increased cardiovascular threat in a dose-response method with a each day sodium consumption of roughly 2,000 to six,000 mg. Each 1,000 mg per day improve in sodium excretion was related to an 18% elevated threat of CVD. For each 1,000 mg per day improve in potassium excretion, the chance of heart problems was 18% decrease. As well as, increased sodium to potassium ratio was considerably related to elevated cardiovascular threat. These associations have been constant throughout subgroups outlined in line with age, intercourse, baseline hypertension, weight standing, and years of follow-up.

“This research underscores the significance of utilizing a dependable biomarker to measure recurring sodium consumption and assess its relationship with cardiovascular threat,” stated Frank Hu, Fredrick J. Stare Professor of Diet and Epidemiology, chair of the Division of Diet at Harvard Chan Faculty, and senior writer of the paper. “The findings present additional help for public well being methods together with laws, meals labeling, and selling wholesome dietary patterns to cut back sodium consumption and improve potassium consumption.”


Harvard T.H. Chan Faculty of Public Well being

Journal reference:

Ma, Y., et al. (2021) 24-Hour Urinary Sodium and Potassium Excretion and Cardiovascular Threat. New England Journal of Medication. doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2109794.

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