High-salt diets may not increase the risk of death, contrary to long-held medical beliefs, according to investigators from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University.
They reached their conclusion after examining dietary intake among a nationally representative sample of adults in the U.S. The Einstein researchers actually observed a significantly increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease (CVD) associated with lower sodium diets.
The researchers analyzed data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III), which was conducted by the federal government among a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults. These data were then compared against death records that had been collected by the government through the year 2000. The sample of approximately 8,700 represented American adults who were over 30 years of age at the time of the baseline survey (1988-1994) and were not on a special low-salt diet.
After adjusting for known CVD risk factors, such as smoking, diabetes and blood pressure, the one-fourth of the sample who reported consuming the lowest amount of sodium were found to be 80% more likely to die from CVD compared to the one-fourth of the sample consuming the highest level of sodium. The risk for death from any cause appeared 24% greater for those consuming lower salt, but this latter difference was not quite large enough to dismiss the role of chance.
“Our findings suggest that for the general adult population, higher sodium is very unlikely to be independently associated with higher risk of death from CVD or all other causes of death,” says Dr. Hillel W. Cohen, associate professor of epidemiology and population health at Einstein.
Since the first NHANES survey in the early 1970s, data from NHANES have been used extensively to describe patterns of nutrition and health in the U.S. The results from this current study are consistent with findings reported previously from two earlier NHANES surveys. While the federal government currently repeats NHANES surveys every two years, NHANES III is the latest available survey that can be compared with later death records.
Since NHANES III was an observational study and not a clinical trial, no definite conclusions about cause and effect were possible, says Dr. Cohen. “However, our findings do again raise questions about the usefulness or evensafety of universal recommendations for lower salt diets for all individuals, regardless of their blood pressure status or other health characteristics,” he cautions.
Article: Hillel W. Cohen, Susan M. Hailpern and Michael H. Alderman, 'Sodium Intake and Mortality Follow-Up in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III)', Journal of General Internal Medicine ISSN 0884-8734 (Print) 1525-1497 (Online) DOI 10.1007/s11606-008-0645-6
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- New Tractor Beam Can Repel And Attract
- Amenhotep III: Ancient Egyptian Mummies Didn't Have Spinal Arthritis
- #GAMERGATE Style Harassment Does Not Happen in the Male Dominated Sciences
- Get A Heart On: Viagra Is Good Outside The Bedroom Too
- How Mitochondria Began - Parasitic Coevolution Gets A New Wrinkle
- Psychiatry Should Switch From Symptom-based Prescriptions To Target-based
- From Mindless Physics To Physics Of Mind
- "Thank you for these gems, Robert. At Hafez' tomb, I teased my 25-year-old guide, Here we are at..."
- "I believe in an evolutionary universe as well. Perhaps this thing we call god is an alien or something..."
- "Problem. In the USA and New Zealand you've got Direct To Consumer Advertising, that is, the companies..."
- "Because you did not present any sound alternative. You set up the strawman with a false dishcotomy..."
- "Why do you keep on posting your irrelevant articles under a physics forum? ..."
- Mutagenesis: One way Europeans wish it was 1936 again
- Closer examination of risk factors for Latinos underscores cultural diversity
- Saving bees requires less pesticides, changing farming
- Could GM plants replace airport security scanners?
- In a battle of brains, chimpanzees match human toddlers
- ‘Urban farmers’ behind GMO labeling initiatives
- Fires in the Egypt River Delta
- Antibiotics may help Salmonella spread in infected animals, Stanford scientists learn
- WSU researchers see how plants optimize their repair
- See-through, one-atom-thick, carbon electrodes powerful tool to study brain disorders
- Gonzalo: First hand account in Bermuda, next stop: The United Kingdom