Heart DiseaseHigh Blood Pressure

Salt restriction and the risk of cardiovascular complications

 The Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG), an independent German scientific institute that evaluates healthcare, has reviewed the evidence.

Here are the highlights.

First, the details.

  • 7 reviews, in which the results of between 520 and 3391 participants from a total of 62 studies were analyzed.

And, the results.

  • No conclusions on late complications were possible based on the available data.
  • A year of lowering salt intake results in a 4 to 8 mmHg drop in systolic blood pressure and 2 to 3 mmHg in diastolic blood pressure.
  • This response was not evident in 1 study of longer than 6 months.
  • The additional effect of salt restriction in people taking blood pressure-lowering medicine hasn’t been studied.

The bottom line?
The IQWIG report is based on the findings in 7 review articles.

It’s important to also include perhaps the most important finding from a 2007 study, which reported no difference in death rates between patients who were randomly assigned to sodium reduction or no sodium reduction.

8/2/09 21:10 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.