September 26, 2014

Study Says Salt's Effect on Blood Pressure Insignificant

Now if the American Heart Association would believe this we could be on to something. I do expect to see something from them and it will be a rebuttal if I am right. It turns out they don't need to as the American Diabetes Association did it for them in DiabetesPro SmartBrief. It carried an article by Reuters of people with diabetes ignoring salt uptake warnings. Both articles were dated September 8, 2014. The salt controversy just won't go away.

Previously on August 26, 2014, Eric Topol, editor of Medscape, used two studies and compares them. I will quote this from his article, “Our crackerjack cardiovascular news managing editor, Shelley Wood, published a superb article on Medscape - the, with many of the parties and leading experts weighing in. For me, the real coup de grâce was the Wall Street Journal's editorial column, "The Salt Libel," which highlighted this conclusion: "[T]he illusion that science can provide some objective answer that applies to a special danger."

I believe that adequately sums up all there is to say about sodium, at least for now. The AHA, however, isn't backing off from its 1.5 g/d sodium guideline. But I think there's a big lesson here about guidelines without adequate evidence: They can do harm. Hopefully this lesson will prove to be impactful, because that certainly has not been the case to date (as in cholesterol/LDL, BP, PSA, mammography, and a very long list of poorly conceived, nonanchored guidelines).

Isn't it about time to recognize that there shouldn't be rules for populations? Some people are exquisitely sensitive to salt intake, while others are remarkably resistant.”

New research should play a role in determining public health initiatives for reducing epidemic hypertension. It is unfortunate that hypertension is the world's most prevalent chronic disease. I was even surprised that it was so common at the younger ages. It affects more that 30 percent of adults at age 25 and above. It accounts for 9.4 million deaths every year.

With hypertension's increasing prevalence and the difficulty the global health community has in managing it, more should be done to identify casual behavioral relationships to blood pressure outcome that can lead to better strategies for preventing hypertension.

It is obvious that the salt debate will continue until the different medical groups decide to find science for their guidelines instead of what they call “expert opinion” and consensus. The science is slowly building and showing that there is more than just “expert opinion.”

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