Media reports of new hypertension study should be taken with a grain of salt – Nature Medicine Blog Post
“Cutting down on salt doesn’t reduce your chance of dying,” broadcasts the press release for a meta-analysis of trials relating salt intake to cardiovascular disease, published today in the American Journal of Hypertension. But don’t reach for the pretzels and potato chips just yet. This sentiment does not reflect the results of the analysis, says the study’s lead author Rod Taylor, a health services researcher at the University of Exeter University in the UK. “We are explicitly not saying that,” he told Nature Medicine.
Whether curbing salt intake is necessary is still up for debate. The US Institute of Medicine recommends ingesting only 2.3 grams of sodium daily, citing studies linking salt to high blood pressure and heart failure. But some critics argue that the clinical evidence for this upper limit is scarce. For example, in a correspondence to Nature Medicine last year (written in response to our news feature ‘Parse the salt, please’), Morton Satin, vice president of the Virginia-based Salt Institute, called for better clinical trials before seeking a “solution to what may be a nonexistent problem.”