Researchers have found a significant link between high-salt diets and cardiovascular diseases among patients with chronic kidney disease in the United States. The study, published on Tuesday, did not find a direct cause-and-effect among the link but there was a substantial correlation between the two analyzed groups.
The team from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, in New Orleans, evaluated nearly 4,000 patients with chronic kidney disease from seven U.S. locations. The patients were part of the cohort study which was from May 2003 to March 2013, according to the paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
In addition, the participants were constantly asked for urine samples to test the sodium intake during the nine-year study. The results showed that the participants who had higher levels of sodium in the urine had increased risks of important clinical cardiovascular diseases, including the use of antihypertensive medications and a history of heart diseases.
About 11 percent of the people in the high-salt ingest group experienced heart problems such as heart attacks within the time period of the study. This was compared to only 8 percent of those patients in the least salt ingestion group. The rate for stroke was 6 percent compared to nearly 3 in the groups, respectively.
The findings were consistent across subgroups and independent of further adjustment for total caloric intake and systolic heart pressure. According to the authors, the results, if confirmed by clinical trials, suggested that moderate sodium reduction among patients with chronic kidney disease and high sodium intake may lower clinical cardiovascular diseases risk.
It is known that patients with chronic kidney disease are at an increased risk of heart problems, however, how their particular diet could interfere in the risks had not been previously studied, the paper noted.
Chronic kidney disease currently affects a large amount of people worldwide, and just in the U.S. about 11 percent of the population suffers from it. As this disease is already linked to heart problems without any other factors that could alter the chances, such as diabetes and older age, it indirectly helps for the clinical cardiovascular disease to be the leading cause of mortality in the country.
Could all the people react the same?
According to Dr. Naveed Masani, a kidney disease specialist at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, New York, the results or the advice to lower the sodium ingest should not be in general to all patients with chronic kidney failure due to the fact that everyone react differently when some external factors come to place.
“It is entirely possible that what the study suggests is true: that a lower salt intake in the setting of chronic kidney disease could lower heart disease risk,” he told U.S. News. “That said, the advice has to be individualized per patient between their primary care doctor, their cardiologist and their nephrologist, the kidney specialist. One size does not fit all,” he added.