People diagnosed with chronic kidney diseases who consume a high-salt diet are increasing their risk of suffering from strokes and heart attacks, a newly-released study reveals.
According to the researchers, chronic kidney diseases affect around one in 10 Americans and around one third of adults have cardiovascular diseases. So far the effect of salt intake on the health of patients suffering from kidney diseases in particular the effect salt consumption had on their heart – had not been adequately studied.
The survey was conducted on 3,800 patients with chronic kidney disease from seven different locations in the US. At the start of the survey, in 2003, participants provided urine samples and, over the next two years continued to provide them once a year. The researchers followed the medical histories of the participants until 2013.
According to the findings, participants who ranked in the first 25 percent according to the daily salt intake also had the highest rates of heart-related problems. For instance, more than 23 percent of participants who had a high sodium intake suffered from heart failure, while in the low sodium group only about 13 percent had experienced that.
Participants in the high sodium group also had an increased risk of suffering heart attacks, the research showed. Namely, about 11 percent of them had suffered a heart attack, compared to the low sodium group, with just under 8 percent. Risk rate for stroke in the first group was just over 6 percent compared to approximately 3 percent in the second group, respectively.
While researchers warn that the study does not establish a cause-and-effect relationship between high salt consumption in kidney patients and heart disease, specialists believe the findings are highly relevant for the field.
According to Dr. Naveed Masani of Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, N.Y., the results could be interpreted as showing that a lower salt intake in kidney patients lowers their risk of suffering from heart disease. However, treatment should be personalized and discussed between primary doctors, nephrologists (kidney specialists) and cardiologists. The findings of the survey were published in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) on May 24 and were presented at a meeting of experts in the field in Vienna, Austria.
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