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High Salt Intake Linked to Increased Heart-Failure Risk

Posted on 29th Aug 2017

The analysis of more than 4500 individuals, indicated that individuals who consumed more than 13.7 g of salt per day had an almost doubling of the risk of developing heart failure compared with those who consumed less than 6.8 g per day.

In a press conference featuring the study, lead researcher Dr Pekka Jousilahti (National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland) said that there is now enough evidence to start taking action to reduce salt intake both in Europe and globally.

To those ends, he called for legislation and education to help tackle the issue, alongside collaboration with the food industry.

 

Asked by theheart.org | Medscape Cardiology how easy it will be for individuals to reduce their salt consumption, given that food manufacturers add salt to their products, Jousilahti said that is one of the first things to address, given that "about 80% of salt intake is in processed foods."

Taking up the question, press conference cochair Joep Perk (Oskarshamn District Hospital, Sweden) pointed out that "the Finns have been very successful in legislating" to reduce the salt consumption of their population, which has been accompanied by a drop in stroke rates.

Jousilahti confirmed that, during the 1970s, average daily salt consumption in Finland was approximately 14 g per person, but now it's about 6 g for females and 7 g for males. "Of course, we still have not got to the recommendations, but it has been a nice downward trend," he said.

Commenting on the findings for theheart.org | Medscape Cardiology after the press conference, Dr Ignacio Ferreira-González (University Hospital Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona, Spain), who was not involved in the study, pointed out that it is very difficult to measure salt consumption.