Sodium Slayers Face Less Stroke Risk

High salt intake increases risk of stroke, vascular event: study

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) High salt intake, regardless of a diagnosis of hypertension, has been shown to increase risk of ischemic (blood clot) stroke, according to a new study.

Researchers from Columbia University and Miller School of Medicine in Miami indicate that among 2,657 participants in the Northern Manhattan Study (NOMAS), those who consumed more than 4,000 milligrams (mg) per day of sodium more than doubled their risk of stroke compared to those who consumed less than 1,500 mg per day -- regardless of hypertension.

During 9.7 years of follow-up, 187 ischemic strokes were reported. Risk increased 16 percent for every 500 mg of sodium consumed per day, according to researchers' calculations. (Those figures were adjusted for a variety of independent factors, including age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, alcohol use, exercise, daily caloric intake, smoking status, diabetes and other indicators of vascular disease.)

The daily recommended sodium intake for average adults should fall below 2,300 mg per day, which equates to about a teaspoon of salt, according to the American Heart Association. The new federal guidelines just released suggest those with high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, African Americans of all ages, and everyone over age 51 should limit their salt intake to 1,500 milligrams a day

The average American consumes 3,400. Average intake in the NOMAS study was about 3,031 milligrams per day.

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Review Date: 
February 11, 2011
Last Updated:
February 14, 2011