Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Does a low-salt diet improve outcomes in heart failure?

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A new study finds that eating less salt can improve symptoms of heart failure. Paragpoom Poopansawad/IEEM/Getty Images
  • It is not clear what the full benefits of maintaining a low-salt diet are for people with heart failure.
  • A new study finds that a low-salt diet can improve quality of life and some symptoms in people with heart failure.
  • However, research also suggests that a low-salt diet may not reduce hospitalizations related to cardiovascular problems.

Doctors have long recommended reducing salt intake for heart failure or other cardiovascular problems. However, research is still ongoing about how effective a low sodium intake is in reducing the incidence of hospitalizations or emergency room visits.

recently Study published in the Lancet found that low-sodium diets may help improve quality of life for people with heart failure, but they did not reduce clinical events such as hospitalizations or emergency room visits.

stop beating Occurs when the heart is unable to pump blood effectively to meet the demands of the body. As a result, the body does not get the necessary nutrients and oxygen. Heart failure is chronic.

People with heart failure can experience a variety of SymptomIncluding the following:

  • shortness of breath, persistent cough or wheezing
  • Swelling due to a build-up of excess fluid
  • feeling tired or tired
  • increased heart rate, feeling heart palpitations

New York Heart Association (NYHA) Functional Classification There is a standard used to classify heart failure. The system places people into one of four categories based on how much their heart failure interferes with their ability to do things and their symptoms brought on by the activity.

Many organizations and doctors encourage people who have heart failure to reduce the amount of salt in their diet. In principle, reducing sodium intake Helps prevent fluid overload in people with heart failure.

Dr. Edo Paz, cardiologist and vice president of medicine at K Health, who was not involved in the study, explained medical news today,

“We have long instructed patients with congestive heart failure to limit sodium consumption, as sodium can cause fluid retention, which can result in aggravating heart failure.”

Researchers in the current study found that reducing sodium intake may benefit people with heart failure.

However, they found that it may not help prevent hospitalization and other adverse clinical outcomes. Their findings provide more insight into the sodium intake recommendation for people with heart failure.

The study in question was a randomized trial involving more than 800 participants from six different countries. Participants were adults who met a specific definition of chronic heart failure (NYHA Class 2-3,

Researchers randomly placed participants into one of two groups. The intervention group went on a low sodium diet where they consumed less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day. The control group received the standards of care for the area where they were located.

The researchers specifically looked at the incidence of three main events over 12 months:

  • Hospitalization related to cardiac problems
  • emergency room visits related to cardiac problems
  • death from all causes

They also looked at some other outcomes, including whether following a low-sodium diet led to an improvement in quality of life and NYHA classification among participants.

The researchers observed that hospitalizations, emergency room visits and all causes of death were not reduced for participants in the low sodium diet group compared to the control group.

However, they did find a moderate benefit on quality of life and in the classification of the NYHA scale into groups that had reduced sodium intake.

Dr. Paz presented the following summary of the study results:

,[F]Consuming a low-salt diet did not reduce deaths or hospital visits for people with congestive heart failure. Despite this fact, there was still an indication for benefit in some key endpoints in favor of a low-salt diet, including functional assessment.

Study author Professor Justin A. Eijkowitz explained MNT that it was “the largest trial of its type to examine whether dietary sodium reduction for patients with heart failure alters the risk of future clinical events.”

However, he pointed out that he “did not have the opportunity to test this strategy before in a large practical trial driven by clinical events.”

There were several other limitations of the study. First, the study authors note that they only followed up with the participants over 12 months. Therefore, it is possible that reducing sodium in the diet may have long-term effects that the researchers did not see.

Due to the nature of the study, there was potential bias because the researchers knew who was in the control and intervention groups.

The researchers also acknowledge that participants in the control group may have independently reduced their sodium intake.

As the trial was finished early, the results may also underestimate the risks and efficiency associated with the interventions. Finally, studies may include patients with varying health risks because of how the participants were selected.

These results indicate that low sodium intake does not significantly affect clinical events. Therefore, the researchers recommend that medical professionals view it like other medical treatments and weigh the benefits based on each patient’s unique needs.

Dr. Paz notes that he will continue to recommend a low-salt diet for patients with heart failure:

“Overall, it is not clear whether the exercise pattern will change, and for what it is worth, I would continue to advise patients with congestive heart failure to limit salt and fluid intake.”

Pro. Eijkowitz recommended that this study needs follow-up trials with even longer follow-up times.

“We need more trials in the field, testing different populations, interventions, and long-term follow-up,” he said.

Nation World News Desk
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