A new modeling study published recently in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), a leading medical journal, suggests that replacing regular salt with potassium-containing salts prevents nearly 500,000 Chinese die each year from cardiovascular disease. Overall, the study found that Chinese had a significant effect on reducing pressure after eating potassium-containing salts, preventing the deaths of about 460,000 cardiovascular patients per year. In addition, potassium-containing salts prevent approximately 743,000 non-fatal cases of cardiovascular disease each year and reduce the incidence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) by 120,000 cases per year, or about 7% of new cases of chronic kidney disease.
Jason Wu, the study’s author and director of the George Institute’s Nutrition Science Program, said it was well known that Chinese’s daily intake of sodium, which comes mainly from salt used in home cooking, is much higher than recommended. The use of high potassium-rich edible salts instead of ordinary saltcans can reduce the intake of sodium and increase the intake of potassium, so as to achieve a better pressure reduction effect.
High-salt diet sits on one of Chinese’s biggest killers
Eating too much salt increases blood pressure, which is one of the biggest factors contributing to premature death from a stroke or heart attack. Worldwide, excessive salt intake can kill about 3 million people each year. In China, sodium intake is more than twice what the World Health Organization recommends, and nearly half of Chinese aged 35-75 suffer from high blood pressure. Nearly 30% of Chinese under the age of 70 can be attributed to high sodium intake.
As early as June 25 last year, the Lancet, the world’s leading medical journal, published a study entitled “Mortality, Morbidity and Risk Factors in China and its provinces 1990-2017: A Systematic Analysis of the Global Burden of Disease 2017”, revealing the “dramatic shift” in China’s transition from infectious to chronic diseases over the past three decades.
The report points out that the current increase in chronic diseases such as stroke and ischemic heart disease has become the leading cause of premature death among Chinese. According to statistics, in 2017, china had 2.54 million deaths from high blood pressure, of which 95.7% were due to cardiovascular disease, while high blood pressure and a high salt diet were also risk factors for deaths and loss of life in China in 2017. Moreover, improvements to high-salt diets are still slow and require increased public health attention and investment.
High sodium intake (more than 2g per day) is believed to be one of the leading causes of death in people under the age of 70, with nearly 30% of fatal strokes under the age of 70 attributed to high sodium intake. In Chinese households, salt consumption is the main way to consume high sodium, accounting for 70% of the sodium intake of Chinese residents. One way to reduce high sodium intake is to replace potassium chloride with sodium chloride in edible salts.
Previous studies have shown that potassium-containing salts (containing 25-67% potassium chloride) can reduce the average systolic pressure by 5mmHg and diastolic pressure by 2mmHg compared to normal salts. In addition, a randomized trial of older adults showed that potassium salts were associated with a reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
Is potassium-containing salt replaced with sodium salt sodium?
Given that potassium-containing salts may increase the risk of hyperkalemia in patients with advanced chronic kidney disease, thereby increasing the risk of sudden cardiac death. So is it good for The Chinese to replace sodium salt with potassium-containing salts?
To do this, the researchers estimated the effect of using potassium-containing saltinstead sodium-containing salts in patients with cardiovascular disease in China by comparing risk assessment models. Special assessment of the effects in people with chronic kidney disease.
It was found that the consumption of potassium-containing salts by Chinese residents prevented 460,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease each year, including 208,000 stroke patients and 175,000 people with ischemic heart disease. In addition, potassium-containing salts prevent approximately 743,000 non-fatal cardiovascular diseases each year, including 365,000 strokes and 147,000 ischemic heart attacks.
For chronic kidney disease, consumption of potassium-containing salts reduces the incidence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) by 120,000 cases per year, accounting for about 7% of new cases of chronic kidney disease. At the same time, potassium salt can prevent about 32,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease among about 17.2 million people with chronic kidney disease. However, increased serum potassium concentration sedatium levels can result in the death of about 11,000 patients with chronic kidney disease from cardiovascular disease, accounting for 17% of cardiovascular deaths in patients with chronic kidney disease.
Nevertheless, among patients with chronic kidney disease, the number of deaths from cardiovascular disease decreased by about 21,000 each year. The use of potassium-containing salts instead of regular salt in China avoids far more deaths in patients associated with hyperkalemia.
Therefore, the use of potassium salt instead of ordinary salt can reduce blood pressure in Chinese groups, and prevent cardiovascular disease and chronic kidney disease. The study showed that encouraging people to eat potassium-containing salts could prevent nearly one in nine deaths from cardiovascular disease.
“Another important part of this study is to study potassium salts that lower blood pressure and benefit Chinese groups, while also assessing the potential risks of potassium-containing salts in patients with chronic kidney disease,” said study author Dr. Matti Marklund, a senior fellow at the George Institute and now an assistant professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. Our model studies show that in the population as a whole, the benefits of an intervention containing potassium salt far outweigh the potential risks, and that even in patients with chronic kidney disease, the benefits of potassium-containing salts can be significant. “
“The study found that the cardiovascular benefits of people with chronic kidney disease suggest that, while encouraging people with potassium-containing salts, it is also necessary to expand screening for patients with chronic kidney disease and closely monitor blood potassium levels in patients with chronic kidney disease to minimize the potential risk of hyperkalemia in patients with chronic kidney disease, and that the study did not assess the effects of potassium salts on non-cardiovascular patients, such as stomach cancer patients or pregnant women with pre-eclampsia.” Therefore, further research is needed to determine the effects of potassium salts on non-cardiovascular disease patients. Dr Marklund said.
The researchers say the main source of sodium in Western countries is pre-processed and packaged foods, while sodium in China comes mainly from home cooking, so a nationwide campaign to promote potassium-containing salt instead of regular salt would be beneficial to the cardiovascular health of Chinese residents.