- Skin salt level was
found to be associated with heart structural changes in
chronic kidney disease patients by a research
team in Germany.
- An increase in the skin sodium content correlates with left
ventricular hypertrophy in chronic kidney disease patients.
- Monitoring the
levels of salt in the skin is essential for lowering the risk of heart problems.
A research team from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg provide insights into the
causes for change in the heart's structure among people with chronic kidney
disease (CKD). This study, which was published in the Journal of the
American Society of Nephrology (JASN)
has identified a treatment for this
condition that could lie in the level of sodium in the skin. Increased sodium
was found to affect the heart health of chronic kidney disease patients.
with chronic kidney
are at an increased risk of developing heart problems and
dying due to cardiac problems. The higher risk for cardiac problems can be
attributed, to a certain extent, to the existence and severity of left
ventricular hypertrophy (LVH). This condition is characterized by the
enlargement and thickening of the heart's left ventricular
walls. Though the reason behind the development of left ventricular hypertrophy
is unknown, earlier studies have found that it could be associated with the
intake of sodium.
‘Low-salt diet is essential to lower the risk of heart structural changes in chronic kidney disease patients.’
Sodium in the Body
that were conducted in the recent past have shown that skin, muscle and certain
other tissues store sodium. Dr. Markus Schneider from the University of
Erlangen-Nuremberg and his colleagues wanted to identify if the sodium levels
in these newly diagnosed places of sodium deposition were associated with the severity of left ventricular hypertrophy in
patients with chronic kidney disease.
Measuring Skin Sodium
About 99 patients with mild to moderate chronic kidney disease were
included in the study and the research team used 23Na-magnetic resonance
imaging for measuring the level of sodium content in the calf skin. Other
parameters that were measured include blood
over a period of 24 hours, the total body water level and
the left ventricular mass.
study found that
- The content of
sodium in the skin correlated with systolic blood pressure
- The total body
water content did not correlate with systolic blood pressure
- There was a
stronger correlation between skin sodium and left ventricular mass than
total body water
- Further analysis
showed that the sodium levels in the skin were a strong variable linked to the left ventricular mass, irrespective
of the total body water or the blood pressure
Schneider said that the research team believed that skin sodium is a reflection
of the excess deposition of sodium in the body. The study findings are
indicative of a strong relationship between the sodium in the skin and changes
that occur in the structure of the heart. Interventional strategies that are
aimed at reducing the level of sodium in the skin could benefit the heart in
patients with kidney disease through
- Dietary sodium
- Medications which
increases sodium excretion
Salt and Its effect on
The amount of
salt that is consumed is directly associated with blood pressure
Salt makes the body hold onto water and, in the event of an
excess salt consumption; the additional water that is stored
in the body requires the heart to pump more, raising blood pressure levels.
Therefore, the higher the intake of salt, the higher the blood pressure of the
increase in the blood pressure, in turn, adds to the strain on the arteries,
and the kidneys. This could result in strokes,
, heart attacks and kidney disease.
Excess intake of salt could medications for blood pressure
and diuretics ineffective.
Effect of Salt on the
increase in blood pressure that is caused due to excess consumption of salt
adds to the strain on the inner walls of the arteries. To make up for this
strain, the artery walls become thicker and stronger. This results in reduced
space of the artery walls.
increase in blood pressure and the decrease in the space within the arteries
could clog the artery and prevent blood flow or it could lead to the artery
bursting, in rare cases. This would lower the blood supply to the organs to
which the artery was supplying blood and the organs would be devoid of
nutrients and oxygen. This is a potentially fatal condition.
the salt intake in the body is, therefore, an important criterion
for lowering the risk for cardiac problems and changes in the structure of the
heart of chronic disease patients.
- Salt's effects on your body - (http://www.bloodpressureuk.org/microsites/salt/Home/Whysaltisbad/Saltseffects)