Stronger Evidence of Salt's Link to High Blood Pressure
Don’t pass the salt. A new Japanese study suggests that a high sodium diet can increase blood pressure.
For their study, researchers looked at 4,500 Japanese adults with normal blood pressure for three years and used annual urine tests to check their salt intake.
The results, which are published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, showed that about 23 percent of the participants developed hypertension – also known as high blood pressure.
What’s more, the participants with high salt intake were 1.25 times more likely to develop high blood pressure by the end of the study compared to participants with a low salt diet. Those who gradually increased their salt intake throughout the period of the study also showed a higher risk of high blood pressure.
Additional findings showed the participants sodium intake ranged from 2,925 mg to 5,644 mg. Current U.S. recommendations call for limiting salt intake to 2,300 mg per day for the general population, and to 1,500 mg per day for seniors.
While previous studies have shown a link between salty diets and high blood pressure, this is the first to show the connection develop over time.
Because Americans consume an average of 3,500 mg of sodium per day – well over the recommended daily value – this study indicates the importance of early dietary intervention to avoid developing high blood pressure and its many complications including heart attack, stroke, and heart failure.