'High Normal' Sodium, Poor Hydration Linked to Heart Failure
Having a "high normal" serum sodium level in midlife, which reflects less than optimal fluid intake, is associated with an increased risk for left ventricular hypertrophy — a heart failure (HF) precursor — and for HF itself, in older age, a new study suggests. Compared with middle-aged adults in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study with normal serum sodium, those with levels of 142 to 146 mmol/L were more likely to have left ventricular hypertrophy or HF when they were in their 70s and 80s, independent of other risk factors.
@harry Normal serum sodium is usually defined as 135 to 146 mmol/L, Dmitrieva explained, and this study only involved patients in ARIC with sodium levels in this range, to try to exclude patients with genetic or water-salt balance diseases. The findings suggest that a serum sodium level of 142 to 146 mmol/L, which would not be flagged as abnormal by a test lab, "can be used by clinicians as a warning sign" for a patient's increased risk for HF, she noted. Clinicians should explain this risk to patients and advise them to drink at least 2 L per day. However, people should not try to reduce their sodium levels by drinking more than 2 to 3 L per day, she cautioned, which can be harmful and even deadly, and should consult their doctor.