The study quoted, according to Dr. Peter Briss of the CDC, has the following problems, which may lead one to conclude that the study doesn't affect the same population that the CDC is concerned about when they discuss low salt diets:
- It was small
- It included relatively young subjects
- It had relatively few cardiovascular deaths
- It appears that some significant portion of the study participants were reporting urine volumes less than expected, suggesting that not all 24 hour urine sample periods were completed correctly, which would shift many people from the higher salt ranges into the lower salt ranges, thus increasing the apparent morbidity of the lower salt ranges
Further, one needs to understand that the CDC does NOT recommend a low salt diet, except for those in the following categories:
- You are 51 years of age or older.
- You are African American.
- You have high blood pressure.
- You have diabetes.
- You have chronic kidney disease.
They recommends that everyone else maintain 2,300 mg sodium per day or less. This is not a low sodium diet.
In fact, most Americans consume 20 more times the sodium than what the body needs. What the CDC recommends is that people consume the recommended daily amount (RDA) or less. Most people are consuming more. So the general call to reduce sodium intake is, for most Americans, a call to get back down to the RDA, not to start on a 1,500 mg diet which is typical for an at-risk patient.
Further, this is the first study to correlate higher morbidity with lower sodium intake, and due to the issues with it no doctors are currently using it as a basis for patient care. There are many, many studies that back up the CDC's recommendations, and thus people should wait for more information before rejecting the current recommendations for a possible correlation, suggested by one flawed study.