Monday, August 4, 2014

Million Hearts Colorado: High-Salt Diets Could Double Risk of Heart Woes for Diabetics

HealthDay News - A diet loaded with salt is associated with double the risk of heart attack or stroke in people with type 2 diabetes. The risk skyrockets even higher among those whose diabetes isn't well-managed, a new Japanese study reports.

The study found that people with diabetes who consumed an average of 5.9 grams of sodium daily had double the risk of developing heart disease than those who consumed, on average, 2.8 grams of sodium daily. In addition, heart disease risk jumped nearly 10-fold for people with poorly managed type 2 diabetes and a diet with excess salt.

"Everyone's focused on controlling glucose [blood sugar] to prevent diabetes complications. Salt intake is not as well emphasized, but this shows it should be reduced as well," said Dr. Prakash Deedwania, a member of the American College of Cardiology's Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease Committee.

The study highlights the need for people with diabetes to track more than just carbohydrates when managing their daily diet, said Deedwania.

Public health officials previously have established a link between diabetes and heart disease. There are about 29 million Americans with diabetes, and they die from heart disease at a rate 1.7 times higher than people without diabetes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Salt -- also called sodium -- is known to increase blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association. Accordingly, U.S. nutritional guidelines call for limits on salt intake. Because of the already increased risk of heart disease, people with diabetes should consume no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day. People without diabetes should limit their sodium intake to 2,300 milligrams, the CDC says. 

Colorado participates in the Million Hearts Initiative, an effort to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. You can participate too. Be one in a million - make your commitment and pledge today.


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