Excess salt blamed for 2.3 million deaths from CVD worldwide in 2010

Ever wondered what makes a food taste good? Most of the time it is the salt and/or oil/fat which make the food tasty. However we have some revealing facts about salt and its after-effects!

Researchers estimate that in 2010, adults in most parts of the world consumed about twice as much salt as recommended, and millions of Cardiovascular disease (CVD) deaths worldwide were linked to excess sodium [1,2].

These findings were presented at EPI|NPAM 2013, the Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism 2013 Scientific Sessions.

In the first study, Dr Saman Fahimi (Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA) and colleagues reported that in 2010, adults in 187 countries consumed, on average, 3950 mg sodium a day—roughly twice the maximum intake recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) (2000 mg/day) or the AHA (1500 mg/day).

In the second study, Dr Dariush Mozaffarian (Harvard School of Public Health) and colleagues reported that in the same year, they estimate that excess dietary salt led to 2.3 million deaths from CVD worldwide and about one in 10 deaths from CVD in the US.

The average salt consumption in the US was 3600 mg/day, and the US ranked 19th of the 30 largest countries, in estimated numbers of CVD deaths that were thought to be related to excess salt consumption.

Sodium intake in only six countries of 187 countries met the WHO guidelines,” Fahimi said.

When counseling patients about the impact of dietary salt on heart health, physicians need to be aware that salty snacks such as peanuts and chips are not the only culprits, Mozaffarian said. “In the US and in most highly developed countries, 90% of the salt in the diet comes from packaged foods,” where salt is used as a preservative; perhaps surprisingly, bread is the number-one source of salt, and cheese is a major source, he noted.

High-salt diet, a universal finding!

Excess sodium intake was universal—seen in men and women of all ages, living in low- to high-income countries. In 2010, the average daily sodium intake exceeded 2000 mg in 181 countries and exceeded 3000 mg in 119 countries.

Sodium intake varied widely between different parts of the world. Kazakhstan had the highest sodium intake (6.0 g/day), followed by Mauritius (5.6 g/day), and Uzbekistan (5.5 g/day), whereas Kenya (1.5 g/day), Malawi (1.5 g/day), and Rwanda (1.6 g/day) had the lowest daily intake of sodium.

Model linked CVD deaths to sodium intake:

Globally, of the CVD deaths attributed to high dietary sodium, 42.1% were from CHD, 41.0% were from stroke, and 16.9% were from other types of CVD.

Deaths from CVD that were related to dietary salt did not occur only in older men in wealthier countries:

Four in five deaths were in low- and middle-income countries.

40% of the deaths were in women,

One in three deaths occurred in people younger than 69.

 

 

So, guys take that salt with a pinch of salt! Try herbs instead!

via Excess salt blamed for 2.3 million deaths from CVD worldwide in 2010 | theheart.org.

Energy drinks may prolong QT interval, raise BP!

Most of us like drinking energy drinks. Some of them taste good, some sour and some awful. However, they provide us with calories and energy which is replenished quickly compared to a regular meal. However, are they risky?

Tossing back one to three energy drinks may result in more than just a buzz. A small-meta analysis found that immediately afterward, subjects had increased systolic blood pressure and, more troubling, they also had, on average, a 10-msec prolongation in their QT interval.

The study, by Dr Sachin Shah (University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA) and colleagues, was presented at EPI|NPAM 2013, the Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism 2013 Scientific Sessions.

Having increase in blood pressure is not so worrying as having a increase in QT interval. An abnormally increased QT interval increases the risk of having dangerous cardiac heart beats, some of which can cause life threatening cardiac arrest.

These drinks are not regulated as stringently as new drugs by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The patients studied, were all young (aged 18 to 45) and healthy, underwent ECG and blood-pressure testing before and just after drinking one to three cans of energy drink—most commonly Red Bull, but also others such as Full Throttle and Meltdown RTD. An 8.4-oz can of Red Bull contains 80 mg of caffeine, compared with 35 mg of caffeine in a 12-oz Coke or about 100 mg of caffeine in an average cup of coffee. An increase of 10 ms  and 4 mm Hg was found in the QT interval and systolic blood pressure respectively.

In view of the above findings, it would be advisable to restrict the intake of energy drinks in patients with high blood pressure and a congenital condition called Long QT syndrome .

via Energy drinks may prolong QT interval, raise BP | theheart.org.