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Too little salt in diet can be as bad as too much, study shows

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 08 September 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g5507
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. 1London

A lack of salt in the diet can increase the risk of a major cardiovascular event and death, just as consuming too much salt does, research has shown.

Previous studies have suggested a “J shaped” association between sodium intake and cardiovascular disease or death, but many of these studies included participants at high cardiovascular risk who were not representative of the general population. But in the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine last month,1 researchers examined how urinary sodium and potassium excretion was associated with death and major cardiovascular events in a population group who largely had no history of cardiovascular disease.

The researchers obtained morning fasting urine samples from 101 945 people …

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