Hundreds of studies have been released showing that too much salt is bad for your heart. A new study further confirms this by discovering that too much salt doubles heart failure risk.
The National Institute for Health and Welfare in Helsinki found that 20% of people consistently ate more than 13.7 grams of salt each day, which is more than double of the UK’s guideline of 6g.
For the study, researchers followed the health of 4,630 healthy people for 12 years. They not only found that people were eating too much salt, but also that too much salt doubles heart failure risk for the people who were eating double the recommended amount.
Even more striking is that the researchers found that there was an increased risk of heart failure even with taking high blood pressure into account. The lead researcher, Professor Pekka Jousilahti, said, “The heart does not like salt. High salt intake markedly increases the risk of heart failure.”
Within 5 years of a heart failure diagnosis, about half of the patients die. Heart failure occurs when the heart is too weak to pump blood to the rest of the body. It’s the leading cause people over 65 are being admitted to the hospital.
Professor Graham MacGregor from the Queen Mary University of London and chairman of the Consensus Action on Salt and Health group stated, “This is a very important study. It is a powerful message that we need to be more ambitious in cutting salt from our diet. We have an ageing population and heart failure is becoming increasingly common. And it is a terrible way to die, I would rather die of cancer than heart failure.”
Because these complications are so common, Professor Jousilahti commented that legislation education, and food companies to step in and make changes. Food companies can reduce their salt levels since 80% of people’s sodium comes from processed foods.
Not everyone has enough desire or self-discipline to change their eating habits, so it could greatly benefit tax payers in the long run.
Try to read labels more cautiously and keep track of how much salt you eat per day so you don’t develop heart failure.