Eating too much salt is associated with a doubled risk of heart failure, according to a 12-year study in more than 4,000 people presented today at the ESC Congress in Barcelona.
In the study researchers assessed the relationship between salt intake and the development of heart failure.
They found that people who consumed more than 13.7 grams of salt daily had a two times higher risk of heart failure compared to those consuming less than 6.8 grams. The WHO recommends eating no more than 5 grams of salt per day.
Salt and the heart
It is well known that consuming too much salt can increase the risk of having high blood pressure, which is a risk factor for coronary heart disease and stroke.
This study shows that independent of having high blood pressure, eating too much salt can also increase the risk of developing heart failure.
Heart failure is when the heart is unable to pump blood around the body effectively. This means the oxygen in your blood cannot reach the parts of your body where it's needed. In severe cases this can leave you disabled and gasping for breath.
Our Medical Director, Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, said: "We need to consume some salt in our diet but most western diets have salt intakes much greater than the amount required to be healthy. There is a clear relationship between eating too much salt and your risk of having high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
"This study shows that eating too much salt is also linked with increased risk of heart failure, a debilitating and irreversible condition. More research is needed but this research provides further evidence of the potential danger of having too much salt in your diet."
Find out how much salt is too much