Increased sodium intake is associated with risks for type 2 diabetes and latent autoimmune diabetes in adults, particularly in adult carriers of the high-risk human leukocyte antigen genotypes, study data show.
“High dietary salt intake is a well-known risk factor for some chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease,” Bahareh Rasouli, PhD, of the unit of epidemiology, Institute of Environmental Medicine at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, told Endocrine Today. “Limited data suggested salt intake as a possible risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Moreover, high dietary salt intake has recently come into focus as a potential risk factor in promotion of inflammation and autoimmunity. No previous study has investigated the association between salt consumption and the risk of the autoimmune form of diabetes. If confirmed in other populations, these findings may have important implications in the primary prevention of type 2 diabetes and autoimmune diabetes in adults.”
Rasouli and colleagues evaluated data from the ESTRID study on adults with latent autoimmune diabetes (n = 355) or type 2 diabetes (n =1,136) as well as population-matched controls (n = 1,370) to determine whether sodium intake is associated with an increased risk for latent autoimmune diabetes in adults.
The risk for latent autoimmune diabetes in adults was increased with sodium intake (OR per gram per day = 1.73; 95% CI, 1.23-2.43); and when comparing the highest to lowest tertiles of sodium intake, the OR was 2.19 (95% CI, 1.33-3.61). Participants with the high-risk human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genotype had a nearly fourfold increased risk for latent autoimmune diabetes with high sodium consumption compared with lower consumption (OR = 3.87; 95% CI, 1.87-8.01). Sodium intake may also be associated with an increased risk for type 2 diabetes (OR per gram per day = 1.43; 95% CI, 1.09-1.88).
“In line with dietary guidelines (eg, WHO), a high salt intake of 5 g or more per day may contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes and latent autoimmune diabetes in adults. The main sources of sodium intake in a diet are table salt and processed and prepared food,” Rasouli said. “Therefore, lowering salt intake may contribute to the prevention of diabetes. It is interesting to study the risk of latent autoimmune diabetes in adults and type 2 diabetes in relation to interaction between dietary salt intake and genetic factors (eg, HLA genotypes, which are related to autoimmunity). It would also be interesting to investigate in controlled clinical studies whether a reduction in dietary salt intake is beneficial in prevention of type 2 diabetes and autoimmune diabetes.” – by Amber Cox
Rasouli B, et al. Abstract 222. Presented at: European Association for the Study of Diabetes Annual Meeting; Sept. 11-15, 2017; Lisbon, Portugal.
Disclosure: Rasouli reports no relevant financial disclosures. The study was funded by the Swedish Medical Research Council.