July 22, 2014
1 min read

Low-sodium diet drops heart disease risk for patients with type 2 diabetes

You've successfully added to your alerts. You will receive an email when new content is published.

Click Here to Manage Email Alerts

We were unable to process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this issue please contact customerservice@slackinc.com.

Eating a diet low in sodium could cut the risk for heart disease in half for patients with type 2 diabetes, according to research published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Researchers in Japan discovered a synergistic relationship between HbA1c levels and dietary sodium intake for the development of cardiovascular disease in a nationwide cohort.

“The study’s findings provide clear scientific evidence supporting low-sodium diets to reduce the rate of heart disease among people with diabetes,” Chika Horikawa, RD, CDE, of the University of Niigata Prefecture in Niigata, Japan, said in a press release.

Horikawa and colleagues evaluated surveys from 1,588 patients (aged 40 to 70 years, HbA1c ≥6.5%) with diabetes who participated in the Japan Diabetes Complication Study, which included 59 outpatient centers and universities.

Dietary intake was assessed at baseline through the Food Frequency Questionnaire, by food groups; patients were divided into quartiles based on sodium intake, with a range from 2.8 g to 5.9 g. The investigators determined times to CVD, overt nephropathy, diabetic retinopathy and all-cause mortality.

Compared with the first quartile of sodium intake, the risk for CVD grew increasingly higher in the second (HR=1.7; 95% CI, 0.98-2.94), third (HR=1.47; 95% CI, 0.82-2.62) and fourth (HR=2.07; 95% CI, 1.21-3.9) quartiles.

The risk for CVD was dramatically higher for patients with HbA1c ≥9% than those with HbA1c <9% in the top quartile of sodium intake (HR=1.16; 95% CI, 0.56-2.39) vs. the bottom quartile (HR=9.91; 95% CI, 2.66-36.87).

No significant associations were observed among overt nephropathy, diabetic retinopathy and all-cause mortality and sodium intake.

“Although many guidelines recommend people with diabetes reduce their salt intake to lower the risk of complications, this study is among the first large longitudinal studies to demonstrate the benefits of a low-sodium diet in this population,” Horikawa said in the release.

Disclosure: Please see study for full list of researchers’ financial disclosures.