A study presented at the 53rd European Renal Association – European Dialysis and Transplant Association (ERA-EDTA) Congress found a significantly increased risk of cardiovascular disease in chronic kidney disease patients with high sodium intake, independent of several CVD risk factors. The cumulative incidence of CVD events in the highest quartile of calibrated sodium excretion compared with the lowest was 23.2% vs 13.3 % for heart failure, 10.9% vs 7.8% for heart attack, and 6.4% vs 2.7% for stroke at median follow-up.

Jiang He, M.D., Ph.D., of the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, and colleagues evaluated 3,757 patients with CKD from seven locations in the U.S. enrolled in the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) Study and were followed up from May 2003 to March 2013. Participants were requested to provide urine specimens at study entry and the first two annual follow-up visits. Among the participants (average age, 58 years; 45 percent women), 804 composite CVD events (congestive heart failure, stroke, or heart attack) occurred during a median 6.8 years of follow-up.

Findings were consistent across subgroups and independent of further adjustment for total caloric intake and systolic blood pressure.

“These findings, if confirmed by clinical trials, suggest that moderate sodium reduction among patients with CKD and high sodium intake may lower CVD risk,” the authors wrote.