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Proper hydration could prevent heart failure

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Bethesda, MD — A lifetime of good hydration habits may lower your risk of heart failure, say researchers from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

The researchers used data from nearly 16,000 participants in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study, who ranged in age from 44 to 66 during recruitment and were evaluated five times until age 70 to 90. Findings show that high serum sodium concentration – a measure of hydration habits – in middle age was linked to the development of heart failure 25 years later.

In addition, high serum sodium concentration was associated with left ventricular hypertrophy – a thickening of the walls in the heart’s main pumping chamber and a precursor to a heart failure diagnosis.

The risks of both conditions at ages 70-90 increased when serum sodium concentration surpassed 142 millimoles per liter in midlife. For every 1 mmol/l increase of serum sodium concentration in midlife, the odds of left ventricular hypertrophy and heart failure rose 1.2 and 1.1 times, respectively, according to a European Society of Cardiology press release.

 

Hydration recommendations vary from 68 to 101 ounces a day for men and 54 to 71 ounces a day for women, the release adds. Yet, various studies have shown that many adults don’t even meet the low end of those criteria.

“We need to pay attention to the amount of fluid we consume every day and take action if we find that we drink too little,” Natalia Dmitrieva, study author and research scientist at the institute, said in the release. “Maintaining good hydration can prevent or at least slow down the changes within the heart that lead to heart failure.”

The study results were presented during the virtual ESC Congress 2021.

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