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12-year Long Research Study: “Excess of Dietary Salt Doubles the Risk of Heart Failure”

M3 India Newsdesk Oct 06, 2017

Till date, there is a dearth of nation-wide consolidated epidemiological data reflecting the precise prevalence of heart failure in India.










As per rough estimates published in 2010, up to 4.6 million Indians suffered from heart failure. As per studies published in 2016, the estimates seem to have risen to as high as 8 million individuals with heart failure. That’s almost a doubling of the burden of disease.

High Salt Consumption – Doubling the Risk of Heart Failure

The medical fraternity has known for long that consumption of a diet high in salt is a known and well established risk factor for CVD, including heart failure. However, recent clinical evidence shared at a meeting of the European Society of Cardiology has presented alarming statistics in this regard. As per findings of a study conducted by Finnish researchers, spanning 4000 participants over a long period of 12 years - consuming more than 13.7 grams of salt daily doubled the risk of heart failure, compared to consuming less than 6.8 grams. The study further confirmed that this salt-related doubling of the risk of heart failure was independent of other risk factors like high blood pressure.

What does this mean in the Indian Context?

The findings of this research study bear relevance to the Indian scenario too. Past studies have shown that an average Indian consumes 119% more salt than the WHO recommended limit. The WHO recommends not more than 5 mg of salt consumption daily. In the past few decades, India has witnessed a change in dietary patterns. Junk food and high salt edibles like fast food have become popular while the traditional Indian diet comprising healthy cereals, pulses and vegetables has been on the decline. Such dietary shifts coupled with a sedentary lifestyle and growing stress have been contributors to the increasing burden of CVD, including heart failure, in India.

Heart Failure Summit 2017: An Endeavour to Create Awareness

To create awareness among the masses regarding the symptoms, precautions and treatment of cardiac arrest and details about heart failure management, 'Heart Failure Summit 2017' was organized in Chandigarh, in the end of July 2017. It was a mega event, attended by 250 cardiologists and involved extensive academic deliberations and brainstorming.

The summit was organized by Heart Foundation, which has been constantly offering academic pursuits to young cardiologists all over India. Eminent speakers from prestigious academic institutions took part in the deliberations aimed at enhancing awareness of heart disease in public and to empower doctors in managing patients of heart disease.

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