A new study published in the JAMA Internal Medicine suggests that dietary salt may have little or no effect on the risk for heart disease in older adults. This study included 2,642 people (half were women) with an average age of 74. At the start of the study everyone was free of heart disease. Researchers followed participants for 10 years and used dietary questionnaires to estimate sodium intake. With a range of sodium intake from 1500 – 2300 mg a day, there was no significant difference in risk for cardiovascular disease, heart failure or death. Current guidelines direct patients over 51 to consume less than 1500 mg of sodium per day. The authors say more evidence from clinical trials is needed before the guidelines can be altered. How do you counsel patients about monitoring their daily sodium intake?
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