ACC: Overly Restrictive Sodium Harmful in Heart Failure

Risk for in-hospital mortality increased for individuals with heart failure in low dietary sodium group versus usual care

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FRIDAY, March 3, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- A low dietary sodium diet, including intake below the standard recommended maximum of 2.3 g per day, is associated with an increased risk for in-hospital mortality among patients with heart failure, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology, held from March 4 to 6 in New Orleans.

Anirudh Palicherla, M.D., from the Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska, and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials to compare low dietary sodium to usual care in heart failure. Data were included from nine studies with 3,499 patients.

The researchers found that the low dietary sodium group showed a significant increase in in-hospital mortality compared with usual care (risk ratio, 1.84 [95 percent confidence interval, 1.46 to 2.31; P < 0.001] for intake <2.5 g/day versus ≥2.5 g/day). No significant difference was seen between the groups in hospitalization (risk ratio, 1.45; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.99 to 2.11; P = 0.05).

"Our findings showed that restricting dietary sodium to less than the usual recommendation was counterproductive in the management of heart failure," Palicherla said in a statement. "This study shows that the focus should be on establishing a safe level of sodium consumption instead of overly restricting sodium."

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Elana Gotkine

Elana Gotkine

Medically reviewed by Meeta Shah, M.D.

Published on March 03, 2023

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