(HealthDay News) — A study of adults aged 71–80 indicates that daily consumption of 2,300mg of salt didn’t increase deaths, cardiovascular disease, stroke, or heart failure over 10 years. The report was published online January 19 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

For the study, the researchers looked at salt’s effects on 2,642 adults, aged 71–80, who filled out a food frequency questionnaire. During 10 years of follow-up, 881 participants died, 572 developed cardiovascular disease or had a stroke, and 398 developed heart failure, the researchers found.

When the investigators looked at deaths compared with salt consumption, they found that the death rate was lowest – 30.7% – for those who consumed 1,500–2,300mg a day. Those who averaged 1,500mg a day had a death rate of 33.8%. Among those whose salt intake was >2,300mg a day, the death rate was 35.2%.

“The rate of salt intake in our study was modest,” lead researcher Andreas Kalogeropoulos, MD, MPH, PhD, an assistant professor of cardiology at Emory University in Atlanta, told HealthDay. “The question isn’t whether you should have a teaspoon or two, but whether you should have a teaspoon daily or even less than that,” he said. The American Heart Association recommends <1,500mg of salt a day, which is less than a teaspoon.

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