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   Sep 13

Salt DOESN’T cause high blood pressure, new study claims

Study of more than 8,000 French adults found no link between salt consumption and high blood pressure

30 per cent of people in England and the U.S. suffer hypertension – high blood pressure, the most prevalent chronic disease in the world

Researchers found body mass index (BMI) had the greatest impact on systolic blood pressure levels

Doctors have long warned of the dangers of a high-salt diet.

But a new study has revealed sodium does not cause high blood pressure, and the link between the two is ‘more complex than once believed’.

Hypertension is the most prevalent chronic disease across the world.

Known as a ‘silent killer’ high blood pressure rarely has obvious symptoms.

Around 30 per cent of people in England have hypertension, but many are unaware.

Meanwhile in the U.S. 67 million adults (31 per cent) suffer the condition.

Scientists analysed data from 8,670 French adults and concluded the assumption that salt causes higher blood pressure is ‘overstated’.

Their aim was to evaluate the impact of lifestyle and nutritional factors on blood pressure levels.

Despite finding no direct link, the authors of the study did note those patients who were hypertensive (had a high blood pressure) consumed much higher levels of salt than those without the condition.

Their findings suggest salt affects people in different ways.

Researchers found other lifestyle factors including alcohol consumption, age, and most importantly body mass index (BMI) were all strongly linked to a rise in blood pressure.

Eating more fruit and vegetables, on the other hand, acted to reduce hypertension.

The study authors, said: ‘Stopping weight increase should be the first target in the general population to counteract the hypertension epidemic,’ TIME reported.

The study added: ‘BMI was the main contributory modifiable factor of BP level after multiple adjustments.

‘Systolic blood pressure (SBP) was higher in participants with elevated BMIs. Alcohol intake was positively associated with SBP in both sexes.

‘Salt intake was not associated with SBP in either sex after multiple adjustments.’

However the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the U.S. yesterday issued a warning that nine in 10 schoolchildren are eating more salt than is recommended.

Almost half comes from 10 processed foods – pizza, bread, savory snacks, sandwiches, cheese, processed meats, processed chicken, pasta dishes, soup and Mexican dishes.

The report said one in six children has raised blood pressure, which can be lowered in part by a healthy diet, including less sodium.

Janelle Gunn, from the CDC, told TIME: ‘We consider the totality of the evidence.

‘A vast majority of scientific research confirms that as sodium is reduced, so is blood pressure.’

The review of more than 8,000 French adults found body mass index (BMI) had the greatest affect on raised blood pressure levels

Source: Daily Mail

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