Estimated salt intake and risk of atrial fibrillation in a p
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Hypertension predisposes to atrial fibrillation (AF) – a major risk factor for ischaemic stroke. Since a high dietary salt consumption is associated with hypertension, researchers investigated the association between urinary sodium excretion as a marker for dietary sodium intake and risk of new-onset AF in community-dwelling adults.

The UK Biobank includes 40 to 69 year-old British residents recruited 2006–2010. Participants were divided into sex-specific quintiles according to 24-hour sodium excretion estimated based on spot samples with the Kawasaki equation. Participants with AF at baseline were excluded. Cox regression adjusted for cardiovascular risk factors was used to assess associations with risk of AF, using the third quintile as reference.

Results:
-- A total of 257 545 women and 215 535 men were included.

-- During up to 10 years' follow-up, 2221 women and 3751 men were diagnosed with AF.

-- There was a tendency for an increased risk of AF in the lowest and highest quintiles of estimated daily salt intake in both women and men.

-- In the fully adjusted model, significant associations were seen amongst men in the lowest and highest quintiles of sodium excretion.

Conclusively, researchers found evidence for a U-shaped association between estimated daily salt intake and AF risk amongst men. A suggestive J-shaped association in women was not statistically confirmed, but analyses were likely underpowered. These results suggest that above a certain physiological minimum level progressively higher salt intake is associated with increasing risk of AF.

Source: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/joim.13194
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