Hypertension: patients prefer drugs to lowering their salt intake

Patients with hypertension are more likely to adhere to their drug treatment than the salt reduction prescribed by their doctor to prevent heart failure.

The benefits of salt reduction are proven in numerous documents. It is an essential element in the treatment of hypertension. Indeed, a reduction in salt consumption can reduce the risk of stroke, heart failure or heart attack. However, a recent study reveals that patients often do not respect the prescriptions of their doctor when it comes to modifying their lifestyle.

Salt consumption in hypertensive patients for 7 years

To carry out this study, scientists followed, between 2010 and 2016, more than 12,400 patients who were taking medication for hypertension. The scientists assessed the daily salt intake of these patients through urine tests.

The results of this seven-year study were presented at the recent European Society of Cardiology Congress. According to these results, the blood pressure values ​​of the participants improved, and the number of patients with a blood pressure of 140/90 mmHg increased.

On the other hand, the authors of the study pointed out an increase in salt consumption in most patients. Only 4% of participants followed the recommendations to limit their consumption to a maximum of 6 g per day. Salt intake was significantly higher in patients who took more than one blood pressure medication daily, compared to those who were required to take only one.

Less salt means less medicine

Limiting salt intake should reduce the amount of medication prescribed without adverse effects for blood pressure. Reducing salt in the diet would also reduce the risk of heart failure resulting from too high blood pressure.

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According to the authors of the survey, there is yet another benefit: “Limiting salt intake would prevent the side effects of blood pressure medication, such as nausea and loss of consciousness.”

Future studies will try to determine if patients change their lifestyle more after training around limiting salt intake.

ESC Congress, the annual meeting of the European Society of Cardiology, 2018; August 25-29.


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