Am J Med 06;119(3):275. “Sodium Intake and Mortality”

Volume 119, Issue 3, Pages 275.e7-275.e14 (March 2006)

Sodium Intake and Mortality in the NHANES II Follow-up Study

Hillel W. Cohen, MPH, DrPHCorresponding Author Informationemail address, Susan M. Hailpern, MS, DrPH, Jing Fang, MD, Michael H. Alderman, MD

Abstract

Purpose

US Dietary Guidelines recommend a daily sodium intake <2300 mg, but evidence linking sodium intake to mortality outcomes is scant and inconsistent. To assess the association of sodium intake with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and all-cause mortality and the potential impact of dietary sodium intake <2300 mg, we examined data from the Second National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES II).

Methods

Observational cohort study linking sodium, estimated by single 24-hour dietary recall and adjusted for calorie intake, in a community sample (n = 7154) representing 78.9 million non-institutionalized US adults (ages 30-74). Hazard ratios (HR) for CVD and all-cause mortality were calculated from multivariable adjusted Cox models accounting for the sampling design.

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Results

Over mean 13.7 (range: 0.5-16.8) years follow-up, there were 1343 deaths (541 CVD). Sodium (adjusted for calories) and sodium/calorie ratio as continuous variables had independent inverse associations with CVD mortality (P = .03 and P = .008, respectively). Adjusted HR of CVD mortality for sodium <2300 mg was 1.37 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.03-1.81, P = .033), and 1.28 (95% CI: 1.10-1.50, P = .003) for all-cause mortality. Alternate sodium thresholds from 1900-2700 mg gave similar results. Results were consistent in the majority of subgroups examined, but no such associations were observed for those <55 years old, non-whites, or the obese.

Conclusion

The inverse association of sodium to CVD mortality seen here raises questions regarding the likelihood of a survival advantage accompanying a lower sodium diet. These findings highlight the need for further study of the relation of dietary sodium to mortality outcomes.

Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY
One author (MHA) has been an unpaid consultant to the Salt Institute, a trade organization. Neither he nor the other authors have ever received research support, consulting fees, or speaker honoraria from either the Salt Institute or any other commercial entity related to use of sodium.






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