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Reducing salt intake as beneficial as BP 1st-line drugs: Study – Times of India

Admin By Admin Nov27,2023

NEW DELHI: Cutting down on salt intake can be as beneficial as first-line drugs used to manage high blood pressure, a study published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) has found. It is based on prospective follow-up of 213 individuals.
These individuals, aged between 50 to 75 years, including people with normal blood pressure (25%), controlled hypertension or high blood pressure (20%), uncontrolled hypertension (31%), and untreated hypertension (25%), attended a baseline visit while consuming their usual diet, then completed one-week high- and low-sodium diets.
High-sodium diet included around 2,200mg sodium added daily to the usual diet and low-sodium diet included around 500mg sodium added daily. The JAMA study shows one week of a low-sodium diet resulted in an average 8-mm Hg reduction in systolic blood pressure vs a high-sodium diet, with few adverse events.
“The low-sodium diet lowered systolic blood pressure in nearly 75% of individuals compared with the high-sodium diet which is comparable with a commonly used first-line antihypertensive medication,” the researchers say, adding, “The decline in BP from a high- to low-sodium diet was independent of hypertension status and antihypertensive medication use, was generally consistent across subgroups, and did not result in excess adverse events.”
A diet high in sodium, a key component of common salt that we consume daily, is known to increase the risk of hypertension or high blood pressure. It can trigger heart attack and stroke, said Dr Mohit Gupta, professor of cardiology at Delhi’s G B Pant hospital. He added the impact of reducing salt intake in the management of hypertension is well-known, but the study underscores it by way of original research and validated data.

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