Mon. Apr 15th, 2024

Adding salt to your meals can boost kidney disease risk up to 11 percent

Although diabetes and high blood pressure are considered the most common causes of chronic kidney disease, new research finds that routinely adding salt to your meals can raise your chance of developing the condition as much as 11 percent.

Chronic kidney disease afflicts about 37 million adults in the United States, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The illness, which usually develops slowly, ultimately leaves a person’s two kidneys unable to adequately filter excess waste and water from the body’s blood supply. This can lead to other health problems.

If the disease progresses to total kidney failure, dialysis or a kidney transplant may be needed. The study, published in the journal JAMA Network Open, involved 465,288 people, ages 37 to 73, who did not have kidney disease at the start of the study and whose health and eating habits were tracked for more than a dozen years. In that time, 22,031 participants developed kidney disease.

Overall, the researchers found that the more often study participants added table salt to their food, the more likely they were to develop kidney disease.

Compared with participants who rarely or never added extra salt, those who said they sometimes added salt to their food were 4 percent more likely to develop kidney disease, with the risk increasing to 7 percent for those usually adding it and 11 percent for those who said they always added salt to their food.

“Reducing the frequency of adding salt to foods at the table,” the researchers wrote, “might be a valuable strategy to lower [chronic kidney disease] risk in the general population.” In other words, put down the salt shaker.

This article is part of The Post’s “Big Number” series, which takes a brief look at the statistical aspect of health issues. Additional information and relevant research are available through the hyperlinks.

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