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Adding salt to food increases the risk of premature death


In a new study, salting food at the table is associated with an increased risk of premature death and a shorter life expectancy, regardless of diet, lifestyle, socioeconomic levels, and existing illnesses. I did.

In a study of more than 500,000 people, those who constantly added salt to their food had a 28% increased risk of premature death (deaths under 75 years of age) compared to those who added no or little salt. Defined as).

The results also showed that adding salt to foods was associated with a decrease in life expectancy. At age 50, life expectancy was reduced by 1.5 years for women and 2.28 years for men. This was always salting compared to those who did not or rarely add salt.

However, these increased risks appeared to be mitigated by increasing the intake of high-potassium foods (vegetables and fruits).

The research is Published online In European Heart Journal July 10.

“As far as we know, this is the first study to analyze the addition of salt to the diet as a unique measure of sodium intake in the diet. Such measurements are for other dietary components, especially potassium intake. It is unlikely to be affected by the amount, “said LuQi, senior author of the Department of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulain University, New Orleans, Louisiana. | Medscape Cardiology..

“Our study provides supporting evidence from a new perspective to show the negative effects of high sodium intake on human health, but this is still a controversial topic. The results support the advice that reducing salt intake by reducing the amount of salt added to the diet can help health and improve life expectancy. Our results also support fruits and It suggests that high vegetable intake is beneficial in reducing the negative effects of salt, “he added.

The link between dietary salt and health has been the subject of long-standing debate.

In this paper, researchers show conflicting results from previous studies on the relationship between sodium intake and mortality, and that the relationship between dietary salt intake and health remains the subject of long-standing debate. Explaining.

They point out that inconsistent results are due to the inaccuracy of sodium measurements, and that sodium intake varies significantly from day to day, but most of the previous studies have been to estimate sodium intake. Was heavily dependent on daily urine collection or dietary surveys. It is not enough to assess an individual’s normal consumption level.

They also find it difficult to separate the health contributions of sodium and potassium intake based on current methods of measuring sodium and potassium in the diet, which links sodium intake to health outcomes. It points out that it can be confusing.

They have long proposed the hypothesis that high potassium intake may weaken the adverse association between high sodium intake and health outcomes, but studies assessing the interaction of sodium and potassium intake with respect to mortality risk. Is almost nonexistent.

Adding salt to food at the table is a common dietary behavior that is directly related to the individual’s long-term preference for salty-tasting foods and habitual salt intake, the authors say, commonly used. Table salt contains 97% -99% sodium chloride and minimizes potential entanglement effects of other dietary factors including potassium.

“Therefore, adding salt to foods provides a unique assessment for assessing the association between habitual sodium intake and mortality.”

UK Biobank Survey

In the current study, Qi and colleagues analyzed data from 501,379 people participating in the UK Biobank study. When participating in the study between 2006 and 2010, participants were asked if they never / rarely added salt to their food, usually or always. Participants were then followed for a median of 9 years.

Gender, age, race, smoking, moderate drinking, obesity index, physical activity, Townsend deprivation index, high cholesterol, Chronic kidney diseaseDiabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer results have shown that as the frequency of salting food increases, the risk of premature death from all causes increases.

Adjusted hazard ratios compared to those who added no or little salt from time to time were 1.02 (95% CI, 0.99–1.06) for those who added salt, 1.07 (1.02–1.11) for those who normally added salt, It was 1.28 (1.20–1.35). ) For those who always add salt.

Researchers also estimated that the survival time was short due to the high frequency of salting foods. At age 50, the life expectancy of women who constantly salted food was 1.50 years shorter on average, and the life expectancy of men who constantly salted was average compared to women who added no / little salt to food. 2. It’s been 28 years shorter. ..

For premature death by cause, the results were significantly associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular and cancer mortality, rather than dementia or respiratory mortality, as the frequency of salting food was higher. Was shown. For the cardiovascular mortality subtype, adding salt to food was significantly associated with higher risk. stroke Mortality, not coronary heart disease mortality.

Other analyzes suggest that the association with salting foods at high risk of premature death appears to be weakened by increasing the intake of potassium-rich foods (fruits and vegetables).

The authors found that adding salt to foods is a significant percentage of total sodium intake (6% – 20%) Western diet.

“Our findings also support the idea that even a slight reduction in sodium intake is likely to bring substantial health benefits, especially if achieved in the general population.” They conclude.

Contradictory information from different studies

However, the current findings are Another recent study High sodium intake correlates with improved life expectancy, according to Messerli et al.

Addressing these conflicting results, Qi commented: “The study by Messerli et al. Is based on an ecological design in which the analysis is performed at the national average sodium intake, not at the individual level. This type of ecological study involves deficiency and control of individual sodium intake. There are some major limitations, such as unrelated entanglement and cross-cutting properties. Ecological studies are usually not considered to be useful in epidemiological studies to test hypotheses. “

In contrast, Qi said his current study analyzes individual exposures and has a promising design. “Our findings are supported by previous large observational studies and clinical trials showing that high sodium intake can adversely affect chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease. High blood pressure“He added.

However, the lead author of ecological research, Dr. Franz Messari of the University of Bern, Switzerland, is not convinced by the results of Chi’s work.

“The difference in 24-hour sodium intake between those who added no / little salt and those who added it all the time was only 0.17 g. Such a negligible amount, not to mention cardiovascular mortality and life expectancy. The amount is unlikely to affect blood pressure, “he commented. | Medscape Cardiology..

He also pointed out in Qi’s study that people who added salt more often consumed more lean meat, processed meats, less fish, and less fruits and vegetables. “I suggest that the bad habit of adding salt to the table is simply a powerful marker of an unhealthy diet.”

“Excessive salt intake is definitely harmful to hypertensive patients and increases the risk of stroke, but 0.17g makes no difference,” added Messerli.

What is the optimal level?

and editorial Accompanying the current publication of European Heart Journal, Annika Rosengren, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden state that guidelines recommend less than 5g or a teaspoon of salt per day. However, few people meet this recommendation.

This is because some recent studies have shown a U-shaped or J-shaped association between salts. AtherosclerosisReducing salt intake across the entire population may not be universally beneficial, Rosengren says.

“So far, collective evidence about salt seems to show that healthy people who consume what constitutes normal salt levels don’t have to worry too much about salt intake. That’s it, “she wrote.

Instead, she advises that a fruit- and vegetable-rich diet should be prioritized to offset the potentially harmful effects of salt, and for many other reasons.

It is also recommended to reduce high-risk people, such as those with high salt intake and hypertension. Not adding salt to already cooked foods is one way to achieve this. However, at the individual level, the optimal salt consumption range, or “sweet spot,” has not yet been determined.

“Not adding extra salt to food is unlikely to be harmful and may contribute to strategies for lowering blood pressure levels in the population,” Rosengren concludes.

European Heart Journal.. Published online on July 10, 2022. Full text; editorial.

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