February 3, 2015 – Salt Again


Anchor lead:  In older people, reducing salt intake isn’t helpful, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Salt has been fingered as the latest dietary no-no for several years now, but a recent study shows that restricting salt for older people really doesn’t lengthen life.  Daniel Kim, chief resident in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins Bayview, says starting early may be key.

Kim: Lifestyle or salt intake or diet, these are things that accumulate over time. So I recommend even patients that I see thirties, forties, or even twenties that we need to make these good lifestyle changes now because when you see the effects its going to be decades down the road.  So seeing somebody and restricting them from 70 and seeing outcomes at 80 its very hard to see a big difference.   :23

Kim says too much restriction isn’t good especially in older people.

Kim: We have to reconsider whether asking people to be mindful of their salt intake whether it’s beneficial for all, whether we should target the young, or we should allow, kind of like the blood pressure control, allow it to be a little more lenient on people who are elderly.   :14

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.