Drink more water to keep the heart safe. A new study at ESC Congress 2021 claimed that staying well hydrated throughout life could reduce the risk of developing heart failure. On the findings, author Dr. Natalia Dmitrieva of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (part of the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, US), said that the findings indicate the need to pay attention to the amount of fluid one consumes every day.
Recommendations on daily fluid intake vary from 1.6 to 2.1 litres for women and 2 to 3 litres for men. However, surveys across the world show that people do not meet even the lower ends of these ranges. Serum sodium is a precise measure of hydration status. When people drink less fluid, the concentration of serum sodium increases. The body then attempts to conserve water, activating processes known to contribute to the development of heart failure.
The researchers examined the connection between hydration and thickening of the walls of the heart’s main pumping chamber (left ventricle), which is a precursor to heart failure diagnosis. A total of 15,792 adults participated in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study. They were 44 to 66 years old at recruitment and were evaluated over five visits until age 70 to 90.
The Participants were divided into four groups based on their average serum sodium concentration. For each sodium group, the researchers then analysed the proportion of people who developed heart failure and left ventricular hypertrophy at visit five (25 years later).
Higher serum sodium concentration in midlife was associated with both heart failure and left ventricular hypertrophy 25 years later. Serum sodium remained significantly associated with heart failure and left ventricular hypertrophy after adjusting for other factors related to the development of heart failure: age, blood pressure, kidney function, blood cholesterol, blood glucose, body mass index, sex and smoking status. Every 1 mmol/l increase in serum sodium concentration in midlife was associated with 1.20 and 1.11 increased odds of developing left ventricular hypertrophy and heart failure, respectively, 25 years later. The risks of both left ventricular hypertrophy and heart failure at age 70 to 90 began to increase when serum sodium exceeded 142 mmol/l in midlife.