Excess salt may stiffen heart vessels

Excess salt may stiffen heart vessels

Coronary risk factor linked to higher dietary sodium, independent of blood pressure

By Janet Raloff, 17:37 PM March 6, 2012

Eating foods laced with too much salt may be as risky as smoking cigarettes, at least in terms of a risk factor for heart attacks called coronary flow reserve, a new study of middle-aged American men finds.

Coronary flow reserve, or CFR, offers a gauge of how well tiny blood vessels in the heart dilate or contract in response to hormonal commands. The lower the CFR, the stiffer the vessels — and the less responsive they become to the heart’s constantly changing workloads.

The new study ex...

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