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Salt, No Salt, or Less Salt for Patients With Heart Failure?

      Abstract

      Restricting dietary sodium is a common recommendation given by clinicians to patients with heart failure and is one supported by current guidelines. However, the quality of evidence for this recommendation is suboptimal, and there is no consensus on the optimal level of sodium intake. Though excessive sodium intake is associated with left ventricular hypertrophy and hypertension, recent data have suggested that very low sodium intake is paradoxically associated with worse outcomes for patients with heart failure. This is possibly explained by the association between low sodium intake and activation of the sympathetic and renin-angiotensin-aldosterone systems. Nevertheless, sodium restriction is routinely recommended and remains a cornerstone of heart failure and blood pressure therapy. In this review we discuss the pros and cons of sodium restriction for patients with heart failure from the current literature.

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