falls linked to low salt
Millions of elderly people could be less susceptible to falls and broken bones if more attention was paid to ensuring that they maintain their salt levels, according to a new study.
The study set out to establish whether there was any relationship between falls and the condition know as hyponatraemia – low concentration of sodium in the blood. Many older people consciously try to reduce their sodium levels because they have been told it is the right way to combat high blood pressure.
The study of more than 5,000 Dutch people over the age of 55 found that those with low sodium levels had a higher rate of fractures. The risk of vertebral fractures was 61 per cent higher in those with hyponatraemia, while hip fractures were 39 per cent higher. People with hyponatraemia also had a 21 per cent increase in the risk of death during follow up to fractures.
While the risks of hyponatraemia are well recognised for patients in hospital, the study is one of the first to show that even mild levels can be an important complication for the wider population.
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