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Lower Salt Does Not Reduce Mortality CV Morbidity

But salt restriction tied to increased risk of all-cause death in congestive heart failure

MONDAY, July 11 (HealthDay News) -- Reduced dietary salt intake has no clear effect on mortality or cardiovascular morbidity in populations with normal or high blood pressure, but it is suggested to increase the risk of all-cause death in those with congestive heart failure, according to a review published in the July issue of the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

Rod S. Taylor, Ph.D., from the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth in the United Kingdom, and colleagues reviewed the literature to assess the long-term effects of restricted dietary salt intake on mortality and cardiovascular morbidity. A total of seven studies, involving 6,489 participants, were included, comprising three studies of normotensives, two of hypertensives, one a mixed population of normo- and hypertensives, and one of patients with heart failure.

The investigators found that there was no strong evidence of a significant effect of salt reduction in individuals with normal or high blood pressure. There was also no strong evidence of a benefit of salt reduction for cardiovascular morbidity in normotensive or hypertensive individuals. In individuals with congestive heart failure, salt restriction increased the risk of all-cause death (end of trial relative risk, 2.59; 21 deaths).

"Cutting down on the amount of salt has no clear benefits in terms of likelihood of dying or experiencing cardiovascular disease," the authors write.

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