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Heart Attack or Stroke Risk for Dying Increased by a Low-Salt Diet

February 22nd, 2006

Heart Attack or Stroke Risk for Dying Increased by a Low-Salt Diet

Salt Shaker

A long term study showed that people who said they limited their salt intake were 37% more likely to die from coronary heart disease or a stroke when compared with those who ate more than the US recommended daily allowance of 2,300 milligrams a day (approximately a teaspoon of salt.)  The researcher’s report was first published online in today’s issue of The American Journal of Medicine.

Researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine studied data of interviews of people’s dietary habits from 1976 through 1980.  The survey data was based purely on what a person remembered eating in their diet.  Each person may be affected differently by the consumption of salt.  It still may be good to restrict salt in a diet for some people.  Further research would need to pinpoint if salt intake needs to be more or less and if some people are not able to handle salt in their diet as well.


After at least 13 years passed since the surveys were first completed there were 1,343 deaths out of 7,154 people.  There were 541 deaths in this group that had died from cardiovascular disease.  Those that ate less than 2300 milligrams of salt a day had a higher chance of dying from cardiovascular reasons compared to those that ate more salt.  The researchers did not find any ethnic group, age group, or obesity groups that showed any benefit for a low-salt diet.

The data analyzed does not offer absolute proof that more salt is good for heart health or if limiting salt intake is bad.  Because the people were interviewed by what they ate there is a lot of estimation of how much salt they ate.  Also too much salt intake can be hazardous to anyone’s health.  It is important to stay close within the RDA recommendation of salt intake.  This study may prompt further investigation by the government agency to re-evaluate the recommended daily allowance for salt.

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Nicole Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer

Books on Heart Disease

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