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Posted by on Mar 14, 2017 in Diabetes mellitus | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study examined the link between salt (sodium) intake and complications of type 2 diabetes (T2D). The study found that high salt intake increased the risk of heart disease. 

Some background

Heart disease, kidney disease, and vision problems are complications of T2D. It is recommended that patients with T2D decrease their salt intake. However, these recommendations are based on studies of people without diabetes. Studies on the effects of salt on the complications of T2D are limited.

Methods & findings

This study recruited 1588 people with T2D, aged 40-70. They did not have a history of T2D complications. Their diet was examined by a questionnaire at the start of the study and 5 years later. A dietician reviewed the questionnaire with the participants. The participants were divided into 4 groups, based on average salt intake. They were followed for 8 years. During this time any heart disease, kidney disease, or visual problems as a result of T2D were noted.

The group with the highest salt intake was more than twice as likely as the group with the lowest salt intake to develop heart problems related to T2D. The group with the second highest salt intake were 47% more likely.

When just patients with HbA1c (average blood glucose over 3 months) more than 9% were considered, the group with the highest salt intake was 9.9 times more likely than the group with the lowest salt intake to experience heart problems connected to T2D.

No relationship was found between salt intake and kidney disease or vision problems due to T2D. 

The bottom line

The study concluded that high salt intake increased the risk of heart problems in patients with T2D. It was also suggested that high HbA1c levels interact with high salt intake to cause heart problems in these patients.

The fine print

This study took place in Japan. The recommended salt intake in Japan is higher than in the USA. The low salt-intake group in this study had an average salt intake higher than the recommended intake in the USA. Also, patients with well-controlled diabetes were not represented in this study. As such, the results may not apply equally to all patients with T2D.

Salt intake was reported by the participants and not measured by the researchers. 

What’s next?

Discuss the effects of high salt intake on T2D complications with your physician. 

Published By :

The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism

Date :

Jul 22, 2014

Original Title :

Dietary Sodium Intake and Incidence of Diabetes Complications in Japanese Patients with Type 2 Diabetes – Analysis of the Japan Diabetes Complications Study (JDCS).

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