Optimal hydration could reduce the risk of developing heart failure

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Optimal hydration throughout life could reduce the risk of developing heart failure, according to a study presented at this year’s European Society of Cardiology conference.

Heart failure is a condition in which the heart is unable to both pump blood to organs and tissues (as a result, they receive less oxygen and nutrients from the blood) and receive blood from the organs. Thus, the tissues receive less blood due to the inability of the heart to pump, and on the other hand the blood stagnates and accumulates in the organs.

“Our study suggests that maintaining good hydration can prevent or at least slow down changes in the heart that lead to heart failure,” said study author Dr. Natalia Dmitrieva of the National Institute of Heart, Lung and Blood, part of the National Institutes of Health., based in Bethesda, USA. “The findings indicate that we need to pay attention to the amount of fluid we consume each day and take action if we realize we are drinking too little.”

Recommendations for daily fluid intake range from 1.6 to 2.1 liters for women and from 2 to 3 liters for men. However, global surveys have shown that many people do not even meet the lower values ​​of these ranges. Serum sodium is a precise measure of hydration: when people drink less fluid, their serum sodium levels increase. Then, the body tries to conserve water, activating processes that are known to contribute to the development of heart failure.

“It is natural to think that hydration and serum sodium should change from day to day, depending on how much we consume each day. However, the serum sodium concentration remains in a limited range for long periods of time, which is probably closely related to the habit of consuming water “, continues Dr. Dmitrieva.

This study looked at whether serum sodium levels in middle age, as a measure of hydration habits, predict the development of heart failure 25 years later. The researchers also examined the link between hydration and thickening of the walls of the main heart pumping chamber (left ventricle) – called left ventricular hypertrophy – which is a precursor to the diagnosis of heart failure.

The analysis was performed in 15,792 adults in the study on the risk of atherosclerosis in communities (ARIC). Participants were 44-66 years old in recruitment and were evaluated during five visits, up to the age of 70-90 years.

Participants were divided into four groups based on their mean serum sodium concentration at study visits one and two (conducted in the first three years): 135-139.5, 140-141.5, 142-143.5 and 144- 146 mmol / l. For each sodium group, the researchers then looked at the proportion of people who developed heart failure and left ventricular hypertrophy at the fifth visit, that is, 25 years later.

Higher serum sodium levels in middle age have been associated with both heart failure and left ventricular hypertrophy. Serum sodium remained significantly associated with heart failure and left ventricular hypertrophy after adjusting for other factors related to the development of heart failure: age, blood pressure, kidney function, blood cholesterol, blood sugar, body mass index, sex and smoking status. Each 1 mmol / serum sodium increase in middle age was associated with a 1.20 and 1.11 increase in the chances of developing left ventricular hypertrophy and heart failure, respectively, 25 years later.

The risks of both left ventricular hypertrophy and heart failure at the age of 70 to 90 years began to increase when serum sodium exceeded 142 mmol / l during the average life.

“The results suggest that good hydration throughout life can reduce the risk of developing left ventricular hypertrophy and heart failure. In addition, our finding that serum sodium exceeding 142 mmol / l increases the risk of heart side effects may help identify people who may benefit from an assessment of their hydration levels. This sodium level is within the normal range and would not be labeled as abnormal in the results of laboratory tests but could be used by doctors during regular physical examinations to identify people whose regular fluid intake should be assessed, “he concludes. Dr. Dmitrieva.

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