No link between salt and cardiovascular disease risk for older people with same blood pressure, study finds

19 January 2015        

Salt shaker on a table

A new study has found that there is no association between salt intake and risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and heart failure for older people with similar blood pressure.

It has been well established by previous research that eating too much salt can lead to high blood pressure, which can increase your risk of CVD.

Incidence of high blood pressure increases with age and the research was carried out to see if a policy of further reducing salt intake for older people (over 70) would be beneficial for their heart health.

The scientists concluded that more research is needed before introducing this policy based on the results.

The study, published by JAMA Internal Medicine, looked at data for 2,642 adults between the ages of 71 and 80.

The authors analysed 10-year follow-up data for adults based on self-reported estimated sodium intake but found no association between CVD risk and estimated salt intake.

Professor Jeremy Pearson, our Associate Medical Director, said: “The study showed that risk of cardiovascular disease was not significantly different for people over 70 years old with a similar blood pressure but differing levels of salt intake.

“However, blood pressure can be influenced by a number of factors and the finding that people with a similar blood pressure had a similar risk of cardiovascular disease is not surprising. 

“More research is therefore needed before recommending further restrictions on salt intake for older adults.

“This study does not contradict current dietary guidelines that people should consume less than 6g of salt per day.

“There is global agreement that lowering the amount of salt you consume will lower blood pressure which can significantly reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.”