Too much salt in adolescents’ diet may adversely affect their blood vessels, increasing the risk for cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke, during adulthood, a study said. Too much salt caused measurable changes in their blood vessels that led to arterial stiffness, or hardening of the arteries — early signs of cardiovascular disease. Further, higher average daily sodium intake was associated with lower brachial artery (BrachD), located in the upper arm and higher pulse wave velocity (PWV). Both these readings indicate higher levels of stiffness in both peripheral arteries in the extremities, as well as in central arteries, tied to higher sodium consumption.
“Our study suggests adolescents and young adults with higher-than-recommended amounts of salt in their diet may translate into changes in the body that put them at higher risk for future heart attack and stroke,” said Elaine M. Urbina, Director at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Centre in Ohio, US. The findings were presented at the 2017 Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting in San Francisco.
For the study, the team involved 775 participants who were measured for the elasticity or distensibility of their brachial artery (BrachD), located in the upper arm. Pulse wave velocity (PWV) was also measured for differences in the speed that blood travelled between their carotid artery in the neck and femoral artery in the groin. The amount of sodium they consumed was measured with self-reported, three-day diet records.