Sodium Intake Remains High Among Hypertension Patients

MAY 17, 2017
Ryan Marotta, Assistant Editor
Although the US department of health and human services recommends that individuals with high blood pressure limit their sodium intake to 1500 mg per day, recent study results presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 66th Annual Scientific Session have indicated that sodium consumption has increased among these patients.

To better understand changes in sodium intake, the research team examined data on approximately 13,000 patients with hypertension who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 1999 and 2012; the participants had an average age of 60 years, and a slight majority were men.

The researchers found that patients with hypertension consumed an average of 3100 mg of sodium per day during the 14-year study period, over twice the recommended maximum. Additionally, sodium intake among patients with high blood pressure increased 14% from 1999 to 2012. Although men generally reported high levels of sodium intake than women, both men and women increased their sodium consumption at similar rates over the course of the study.

“We all tell our patients to limit sodium in their diet, and we try to educate them about sodium content in food products, but it is clear that we are not having enough of an effect on people’s diets,” said lead author Elena Dolmatova, MD, in a press release. “We need to find a way to address this so that the message actually gets to people.”