Eating a little less salt can lower blood pressure in people with type 2 diabetes - new research

New research finds that people in the early stages of type 2 diabetes can lower their blood pressure with just a small reduction in their salt intake, lowering their risk of stroke, heart disease and kidney disease. 



The study was published in the journal Hypertension on 9 May. It’s the first study to clearly demonstrate that for people in the early stages of type 2 diabetes, lowering salt intake can reduce blood pressure and urinary albumin excretion - a marker of cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke) and kidney problems. 

For people with type 2 diabetes or glucose intolerance (a precursor to diabetes), a raised blood pressure increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, so it’s important to keep blood pressure under control. 

The researchers are now calling for all patients with type 2 diabetes and glucose intolerance to be shown how to reduce their salt intake to lower their blood pressure, to prevent unnecessary deaths from cardiovascular disease. 

How did the study work?

The study looked at people with type 2 diabetes or glucose intolerance, and normal or mildly raised blood pressure (~134/82 mmHg). The participants were given help to reduce their salt intake to 5g per day, then half the group were given tablets containing salt, and half took a placebo tablet (containing no salt), and after six weeks, the groups swapped tablets. 

The researchers found that after taking the placebo tablets for 6 weeks, total salt intake was 2.9g lower than while taking the salt tablets (from 9.7g down to 6.9g), and with this reduction in salt intake, blood pressure fell from 135.5/81.3mmHg to 131.2/79.7mmHg. 

Where can I find out more?

Read the press release from campaign group Consensus Action on Salt & Health  


Read the original paper