How Salt Restriction Influences Heart Failure Treatments

Reducing salt intake in meals is one of the main recommendations at a general level and is a key measure in the treatment of heart failure. However, research published in the journal ‘Heart’ suggests that Restricting it too much could even worsen outcomes for people with heart failure.

Therefore, the research objective was to analyze the associations between salt restriction for cooking with risks on clinical outcomes in patients with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF).

How the research was conducted

As part of the TOPCAT trial, researchers conducted a secondary analysis of data from 1,713 people aged 50 or over who suffered from this condition.

As indicated in the specialized portal ‘Infosalus’, This randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial was designed to find out whether the drug spironolactone could effectively treat symptomatic heart failure with preserved ejection fraction.

To do this, participants were surveyed about the amount of salt they added when cooking, rated from 0 (nothing) to 3 (half a tablespoon).

Likewise, their state of health was brought under control in the following three years, taking into account information on mortality from cardiovascular disease or hospitalization for heart failure and abortive cardiac arrest.

What happens with excessive salt restriction

Almost half of the patients had a salt intake score of 0, with more than half being male and the majority being Caucasian. They had also been hospitalized more frequently for heart failure and they were more likely to have type 2 diabetes, impaired kidney function, and lower cardiac output.

The results suggest that participants who had a cooking salt score greater than 0 had a lower risk of suffering from the primary endpoint than those who had a score of 0 for the level of salt consumed. Indeed, they were less likely to be hospitalized for heart failure.

But they were no less likely to die of a cardiovascular cause or disease than those with a cooking salt score of zero.

So it is true that lower sodium intake is generally associated with lower blood pressure and the risk of developing cardiovascular disease in the general population and in hypertensive patients. However, restricting salt intake to control heart failure is more complicatedaccording to the researchers.

“Excessive restriction of dietary salt intake could harm heart failure patients with preserved ejection fraction and is associated with a worse prognosis. Physicians should reconsider this advice to patients,” they conclude.

Leave a Comment