High-salt diet increases threat of ensuing cardiovascular disease in type 2 diabetes

by Bruce Sylvester – Type 2 diabetes patients consuming a high-salt diet double their risk of developing cardiovascular disease, researchers reported on July 22, 2014 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

“The study’s findings provide clear scientific evidence supporting low-sodium diets to reduce the rate of heart disease among people with diabetes,” said lead author, Chika Horikawa, RD, MSc, of the University of Niigata Prefecture in Niigata, Japan. “Although many guidelines recommend people with diabetes reduce their salt intake to lower the risk of complications, this study is among the first large longitudinal studies to demonstrate the benefits of a low-sodium diet in this population.”

Investigators surveyed subjects ages 40 to 70 in the course of the Japan Diabetes Complications Study. All had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

A total of 1,588 persons responded to a survey about their diets, which included sodium intake.

The investigators also gathered data on cardiovascular complications over eight years.

They divided the study population into four cohorts based on sodium intake. They found that subjects who ate an average of 5.9 grams of sodium daily had twice the risk of developing cardiovascular disease compared to those who ate an average of 2.8 grams of sodium daily.

Notably, the effect of high-sodium intake was increased by poor blood sugar control.

“To reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, it is important for people who have Type 2 diabetes to improve their blood sugar control as well as watch their diet,” Horikawa said. “Our findings demonstrate that restricting salt in the diet could help prevent dangerous complications from diabetes.”