People with Type 2 diabetes who eat a diet high in salt face twice the risk of developing cardiovascular disease as those who consume less sodium, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Societys Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
An estimated 29.1 million Americans have some form of diabetes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Between 2003 and 2006, cardiovascular disease death rates were about 1.7 times higher among adults diagnosed with diabetes than those who were not, according to the CDCs 2014 National Diabetes Statistics Report.
The studys findings provide clear scientific evidence supporting low-sodium diets to reduce the rate of heart disease among people with diabetes, the studys first author, Chika Horikawa, MSc, RD, CDE, of the University of Niigata Prefecture in Niigata, Japan, said in a news release.
The nationwide cohort study surveyed participants in the Japan Diabetes Complications Study who were between 40 and 70 and had been diagnosed with diabetes. Participants were identified at 59 outpatient centers and universities across Japan. In all, 1,588 people responded to a survey about their diets, including sodium intake.
The researchers reviewed data on cardiovascular complications participants experienced over the course of eight years, according to the release.
Researchers divided the participants into four groups based on their sodium intake. The analysis found people who ate an average of 5.9 grams of sodium daily had double the risk of developing cardiovascular disease than those who ate 2.8 grams of sodium daily on average. The effects of a high-sodium diet were exacerbated by poor blood sugar control.
To reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, it is important for people who have Type 2 diabetes to improve their blood sugar control as well as watch their diet, Horikawa said in the release. Our findings demonstrate that restricting salt in the diet could help prevent dangerous complications from diabetes.