Dietary Sodium Intake is Predicted by Antihypertensive Medication Regimen in Patients With Heart Failure

Jennifer L Smith, Terry A Lennie, Misook L Chung, Gia Mudd-Martin
Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing 2019, 34 (4): 313-318

BACKGROUND: Low-sodium diet adherence is foundational to heart failure (HF) self-management. Altered salt taste perception caused by angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors commonly prescribed to patients with HF may increase sodium consumption. We hypothesized sodium intake, indicated by dietary sodium density, would be significantly higher among patients with HF prescribed ACE inhibitors compared with those not prescribed the drug.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to assess the association between prescribed ACE inhibitors and dietary sodium density in patients with HF.

METHODS: We conducted a secondary analysis of baseline data from patients with HF in an observational longitudinal study. Sodium density was derived by dividing averaged daily sodium intake from 4-day food diaries by averaged kilocalories consumed. Medical chart review was conducted to ascertain prescribed medications. Patients were categorized as prescribed and not prescribed an ACE inhibitor. t Tests were conducted to compare sodium intake between groups, and linear regression was conducted to examine whether prescribed ACE inhibitors independently predicted sodium density controlling for age, gender, New York Heart Association class, prescribed diuretics, and β-blockers.

RESULTS: Analyses included 255 patients with HF aged 61 ± 12 years, with 67% male, 44% New York Heart Association class III/IV, and 68% prescribed an ACE inhibitor. Compared with those not prescribed an ACE inhibitor, 13% more sodium per kilocalorie was consumed by patients prescribed an ACE inhibitor. Prescribed ACE inhibitor independently predicted dietary sodium density (β = 0.238, P = .009).

CONCLUSIONS: Sodium intake was higher among patients prescribed ACE inhibitors. Interventions to assist patients with HF with dietary sodium adherence can be informed by assessing medication regimens.

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