London: High salt consumption may double the risk of heart failure, a 12-year-long study warns.
Researchers at National Institute for Health and Welfare in Finland found that people who consumed more than 13.7 grammes of salt daily had a two times higher risk of heart failure compared to those consuming less than 6.8 grammes.
High salt intake markedly increases the risk of heart failure. This salt-related increase in heart failure risk was independent of blood pressure, researchers said. "High salt (sodium chloride) intake is one of the major causes of high blood pressure and an independent risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke," said Pekka Jousilahti, research professor at the National Institute for Health and Welfare.
Researchers studied 4,630 randomly selected men and women aged 25 to 64 years. Baseline data collection included a self-administered questionnaire on health behaviour, measurements of weight, height and blood pressure, a venous blood sample for laboratory analysis, and collection of a 24 hour urine sample. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a maximum of five grammes per day of salt intake and the physiological need is two to three grammes per day.