Salt Substitute Can Reduce Incidence of Hypertension Among Seniors

No increase seen in incidence of hypotension episodes with replacement of salt by potassium-enriched substitute
Salt Substitute Can Reduce Incidence of Hypertension Among Seniors
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MONDAY, Feb. 12, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- For older adults with normal blood pressure, replacing usual salt with a potassium-enriched salt substitute can reduce the incidence of hypertension without increasing the incidence of hypotension, according to a study published in the Feb. 20 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Xianghui Zhang, from Peking University First Hospital in Beijing, and colleagues assessed the effects of a salt substitute (62.5 percent NaCl, 25 percent KCl, and 12.5 percent flavorings) on the incidence of hypertension and hypotension among older adults with normal blood pressure in a post hoc analysis of a trial conducted at 48 elderly care facilities. The usual-salt group included 298 participants and the salt substitute group included 313 older adults.

The researchers found that the salt substitute group had a lower incidence of hypertension than the usual-salt group (11.7 versus 24.3 per 100 person-years; adjusted hazard ratio, 0.60), but the incidence of hypotension episodes did not increase. From baseline to the end of intervention, there was no increase observed in mean systolic/diastolic blood pressure in the salt substitute group, while an increase was seen in the usual-salt group (7.0 ± 14.3/2.1 ± 7.5 mm Hg) resulting in a net reduction of −8.00 mg and −2.00 mm Hg in systolic and diastolic blood pressure, respectively, between the groups.

"The results suggest that salt substitution brings about only benefits but no harm, providing further evidence to support the use of potassium-enriched salt substitute as a population-wide strategy for sodium reduction in the prevention and control of hypertension and cardiovascular disease in China," the authors write.

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