Salt intervention shows negligible effect on hospitalized heart failure patients, Cleveland Clinic finds

A Cleveland Clinic trial found the salt intake of heart failure patients may not be as harmful as previously thought.

The clinical trial followed 65 patients between June and July. Thirty-one patients were assigned a placebo and 34 were assigned to the salt intervention, according to an Oct. 2 news release.

The trial found the addition of up to 6 grams of salt per day did not lead to a statistically significant difference in weight change or kidney function at 96 hours or earlier of discharge. There were no statistically significant differences in all clinical or laboratory measures except for less fluctuations in some laboratory measures in the oral salt intervention group.

"Our findings do not mean that patients with heart failure should start eating more salt, as we only studied the role of oral salt supplementation in those receiving high-dose diuretic drugs during their hospitalizations," senior study author W.H. Wilson Tang, MD, a cardiologist at the Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute at Cleveland Clinic, said in the release. "Patients with heart failure still need to be mindful that excessive salt intake may cause fluid congestion."

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