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Good hydration may reduce the long-term risk of heart failure

 European Heart Journal
Reuters Health - 06/04/2022 - Consistently staying well-hydrated throughout life may help reduce the risk of heart failure (HF), new research suggests.

"Similar to reducing salt intake, drinking enough water and staying hydrated are ways to support our hearts and may help reduce long-term risks for heart disease," Dr. Natalia Dmitrieva of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, who worked on the study, said in a news release.

Chronic HF affects more than 6.2 million Americans and is more common in those aged 65 and older.

Studies in mice have shown that chronic dehydration induced by lifelong water restriction promotes cardiac fibrosis.

In the current study, researchers assessed the association of serum sodium levels at middle age, as a measure of hydration habits, with risk of developing HF.

They analyzed data from participants from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study who had serum sodium levels within a normal range (135 to 146 mmol/L) and were free of diabetes, obesity and HF at baseline. Participants were aged 45 to 66 years at enrollment and were followed for 25 years.

Among the 11,814 adults included in the final analysis, 12% later developed HF.

"In time-to-event analysis, HF risk was increased by 39% if middle age serum sodium exceeded 143 mmol/l corresponding to 1% body weight water deficit (hazard ratio: 1.39; 95% confidence interval: 1.14 to 1.70)," the researchers report in the European Heart Journal.

In a case-control analysis involving 4,961 adults aged 70 to 90 years old, serum sodium of 142.5 to 143 mmol/L was associated with 62% increase in the odds of having left ventricular hypertrophy (odds ratio, 1.62; 95% CI, 1.03 to 2.55).

In addition, in this analysis, serum sodium above 143 mmol/L was associated with OR of 2.07 (95% CI, 1.30 to 3.28) for LVH and an OR of 1.54 (95% CI, 1.06 to 2.23) for HF.

This study, write the researchers, "identifies middle age serum sodium and other measures of hydration in the upper part of normal reference ranges as a new risk factor for future HF and LVH. The analyses found clear serum sodium threshold of 142 mmol/L for the increased risk that would allow easy identification of people at risk even at early age before any other risk factors develop."

"The substantial strength of our study is that preventive measures based on these findings can be implemented immediately by reinforcing already existent recommendations for optimal water intake," they write.

"These preventive measures could include evaluation of patients hydration habits during regular physical exams and providing information to the people about recommended amounts of fluids to consume on a daily basis. Serum sodium concentration (ordered regularly as part of basic metabolic panel) above 142 mmol/L could serve as a reference to identify patients who would benefit the most from such evaluation," they conclude.

SOURCE: https://bit.ly/3qR0J9Q European Heart Journal, online March 29, 2022.

By Reuters Staff

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