Am J Med. 2020 Jul 16:S0002-9343(20)30600-8. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2020.06.018. Online ahead of print.
The 1500mg/day dietary sodium-restriction commonly recommended for patients with heart failure has recently been questioned. Poor adherence to sodium restricted diets makes assessing the efficacy of sodium restriction challenging. Therefore, successful behavioral interventions are needed. We reviewed sodium restriction trials and descriptive studies of sodium restriction to: 1) determine if sodium restriction was achieved in interventions among heart failure patients; and 2) characterize predictors of successful dietary sodium restriction. Among 638 identified studies, 10 intervention trials and 25 descriptive studies met inclusion criteria. We used content analysis to extract information about sodium restriction and behavioral determinants of sodium restriction. Dietary sodium was reduced in seven trials; none achieved 1500 mg/day (range=1938-4564mg/day). The interventions implemented in the interventional trials emphasized knowledge, skills, and self-regulation strategies, but few addressed the determinants correlated with successful sodium restriction in the descriptive studies (e.g., social/cultural norms, social support, taste preferences, food access, self-efficacy). Findings suggest incorporating determinants predictive of successful dietary sodium restriction may improve the success of interventional trials. Without effective interventions to deploy in trials, the safety and efficacy of sodium restriction remains unknown.