Effect of lower sodium intake on health: systematic review and meta-analyses

Nutrition Policy and Scientific Advice Unit, Department of Nutrition for Health and Development, World Health Organization, 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland.
BMJ (online) (Impact Factor: 16.38). 04/2013; 346(apr03 3):f1326. DOI: 10.1136/bmj.f1326
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To assess the effect of decreased sodium intake on blood pressure, related cardiovascular diseases, and potential adverse effects such as changes in blood lipids, catecholamine levels, and renal function.
Systematic review and meta-analysis.
Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Medline, Embase, WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform, the Latin American and Caribbean health science literature database, and the reference lists of previous reviews.
Randomised controlled trials and prospective cohort studies in non-acutely ill adults and children assessing the relations between sodium intake and blood pressure, renal function, blood lipids, and catecholamine levels, and in non-acutely ill adults all cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and coronary heart disease. STUDY APPRAISAL AND SYNTHESIS: Potential studies were screened independently and in duplicate and study characteristics and outcomes extracted. When possible we conducted a meta-analysis to estimate the effect of lower sodium intake using the inverse variance method and a random effects model. We present results as mean differences or risk ratios, with 95% confidence intervals.
We included 14 cohort studies and five randomised controlled trials reporting all cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, stroke, or coronary heart disease; and 37 randomised controlled trials measuring blood pressure, renal function, blood lipids, and catecholamine levels in adults. Nine controlled trials and one cohort study in children reporting on blood pressure were also included. In adults a reduction in sodium intake significantly reduced resting systolic blood pressure by 3.39 mm Hg (95% confidence interval 2.46 to 4.31) and resting diastolic blood pressure by 1.54 mm Hg (0.98 to 2.11). When sodium intake was <2 g/day versus ≥2 g/day, systolic blood pressure was reduced by 3.47 mm Hg (0.76 to 6.18) and diastolic blood pressure by 1.81 mm Hg (0.54 to 3.08). Decreased sodium intake had no significant adverse effect on blood lipids, catecholamine levels, or renal function in adults (P>0.05). There were insufficient randomised controlled trials to assess the effects of reduced sodium intake on mortality and morbidity. The associations in cohort studies between sodium intake and all cause mortality, incident fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular disease, and coronary heart disease were non-significant (P>0.05). Increased sodium intake was associated with an increased risk of stroke (risk ratio 1.24, 95% confidence interval 1.08 to 1.43), stroke mortality (1.63, 1.27 to 2.10), and coronary heart disease mortality (1.32, 1.13 to 1.53). In children, a reduction in sodium intake significantly reduced systolic blood pressure by 0.84 mm Hg (0.25 to 1.43) and diastolic blood pressure by 0.87 mm Hg (0.14 to 1.60).
High quality evidence in non-acutely ill adults shows that reduced sodium intake reduces blood pressure and has no adverse effect on blood lipids, catecholamine levels, or renal function, and moderate quality evidence in children shows that a reduction in sodium intake reduces blood pressure. Lower sodium intake is also associated with a reduced risk of stroke and fatal coronary heart disease in adults. The totality of evidence suggests that most people will likely benefit from reducing sodium intake.

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Available from: Francesco Cappuccio, May 23, 2015
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    • "Severe sodium restriction below 2 g/d intake was slightly more effective. No adverse effects of sodium restriction were detected on blood lipids, catecholamines, or renal function [1]. A recent Cochrane review reported that the variability * Tel.: þ49 511 532 2796; fax: þ49 511 532 2750. "
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    ABSTRACT: To determine whether patients taking formulations of drugs that contain sodium have a higher incidence of cardiovascular events compared with patients on non-sodium formulations of the same drugs. Nested case-control study. UK Primary Care Patients registered on the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD). All patients aged 18 or over who were prescribed at least two prescriptions of sodium-containing formulations or matched standard formulations of the same drug between January 1987 and December 2010. Composite primary outcome of incident non-fatal myocardial infarction, incident non-fatal stroke, or vascular death. We performed 1:1 incidence density sampling matched controls using the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD). For the secondary analyses, cases were patients with the individual components of the primary study composite endpoint of hypertension, incident heart failure, and all cause mortality. 1 292 337 patients were included in the study cohort. Mean follow-up time was 7.23 years. A total of 61 072 patients with an incident cardiovascular event were matched with controls. For the primary endpoint of incident non-fatal myocardial infarction, incident non-fatal stroke, or vascular death the adjusted odds ratio for exposure to sodium-containing drugs was 1.16 (95% confidence interval 1.12 to 1.21). The adjusted odds ratios for the secondary endpoints were 1.22 (1.16 to 1.29) for incident non-fatal stroke, 1.28 (1.23 to 1.33) for all cause mortality, 7.18 (6.74 to 7.65) for hypertension, 0.98 (0.93 to 1.04) for heart failure, 0.94 (0.88 to 1.00) for incident non-fatal myocardial infarction, and 0.70 (0.31 to 1.59) for vascular death. The median time from date of first prescription (that is, date of entry into cohort) to first event was 3.92 years. Exposure to sodium-containing formulations of effervescent, dispersible, and soluble medicines was associated with significantly increased odds of adverse cardiovascular events compared with standard formulations of those same drugs. Sodium-containing formulations should be prescribed with caution only if the perceived benefits outweigh these risks.
    BMJ (online) 01/2013; 347:f6954. · 16.38 Impact Factor
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