A new study reported in Food Navigator-usa.com disputes another study that was just out last week and widely reported. The latter said there wasn’t enough evidence that salt was bad for you; this one differs greatly.
By Nathan Gray, 12-Jul-2011
High sodium intake, especially when combined with a low potassium intake, is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality, according to new research.
The study, published in JAMA’s Archives of Internal Medicine, reports that a high sodium-potassium intake ratio is associated with significantly increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and all-cause mortality, whilst high sodium intake is associated with increased total mortality.
“In this cohort of a nationally representative sample of US adults followed for an average of 14.8 years, we observed a significant monotonic association between increasing sodium-potassium ratio and risk for all-cause, CVD, or IHD mortality. This association was independent of age, sex, race/ethnicity, and other covariates,” said the authors, led by Dr. Quanhe Yang, from the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention, USA.
“Our findings indicate that higher sodium-potassium ratio is associated with significantly increased risk of CVD and all-cause mortality in the general US population … Public health recommendations should emphasize simultaneous reduction in sodium intake and increase in potassium intake,” they added.
Sodium and potassium consumption, as well as the sodium-potassium ratio, in more than 12,000 US citizens in order to determine the relationship between these variables and the risk of all-cause mortality as well as cardiovascular disease CVD and ischemic heart disease (IHD) mortality.
The researchers reported that after adjusting for other variables such as smoking status and age, higher sodium intake was related to increased all-cause mortality, whilst a higher potassium intake was associated with a lower mortality risk.
The risk of death from cardiovascular disease and ischemic heart disease was also significantly associated with a higher sodium-potassium ratio, said Yang and his colleagues.
“Our findings indicate that higher sodium-potassium ratio is associated with significantly increased risk of CVD and all-cause mortality in the general US population,” they added.
The new study comes only days after a systematic review from the highly regarded Cochrane collaboration (reported here) suggested that there is not yet enough evidence to show that reducing salt intake reduces the incidence of cardiovascular disease or all cause mortality.