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Drink plenty of water to avoid heart failure

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Drinking plenty of water every day could lower your chances of heart failure—and it’s especially important if you’re over the age of 65.

Women should be drinking up to two liters (3.5 pints) of liquids, and men up to 3 liters (five pints), every day to reduce the risk of heart problems and heart failure.

Staying hydrated is an overlooked way to keep the heart healthy, and research has found a link between dehydration and cardiac fibrosis, a hardening of the heart muscles.

Researchers from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute in the US wanted to find out if the connection could still be found in larger groups, and so tracked the heart health and hydration levels of 11,814 people; of these, 1,366—11.5 percent—developed heart failure over the 25 years of the study.

The researchers were able to assess how well the participants were staying hydrated by measuring their levels of serum sodium, which increases as the body’s fluid levels fall.  Serum sodium levels were a predictor of heart failure and ventricular hypertrophy, an enlargement and thickening of the heart.

People with slightly higher levels of serum sodium were 39 percent more likely to develop heart failure, while those with the highest levels doubled their risk of hypertrophy and had a 54 percent increased risk of heart failure.

(Source: European Heart Journal, 2022; doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehac138)

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Article Topics: heart
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