Spill salt? No worries -- just toss it over your shoulder and all is forgiven. Salt used to be a scarce commodity.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) -- Many are aware that too much sodium intake can cause heart problems. A study published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation concludes eating high-salt diets for several years can lead to damaged blood vessels. The stiffening of the blood vessels leads to high blood pressure and other dangers.
Researchers tracked the salt intake of more than 5,000 men and women over 6 years and close to 900 new hypertension diagnoses were made. Those consuming the most salt in their diets were 21 percent more likely to develop high blood pressure.
Reginald Robinson, M.D. of MedStar Washington Hospital Center says, "This study allows us to now be able to actually look at an actual marker of possible damage to the blood vessels."
Dr. Robinson adds, "It may be a predictor now of who will develop hypertension, so that's the new thing."
Hypertension is nicknamed the "Silent Killer", meaning there are often few symptoms before the damage is done.