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Study finds low blood sodium levels linked to impaired cognition function in older adults

A recent study published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology has found that blood sodium levels may influence the cognitive function of older adults.

  • The researchers of the study examined whether lower normal serum sodium is linked to cognitive impairment and the likelihood of cognitive decline.
  • The study researchers looked at the data of 5,435 asymptomatic community-dwelling men who were 65 years old or older.
  • They monitored the participants for a median of 4.6 years and found that a total of 100 men had serum levels that indicate hyponatremia or low level of sodium in the blood.
  • The study revealed that a slightly lower sodium level in the blood were linked to cognitive impairment as well as declines in cognitive function over time.
  • Men with sodium levels of 126 to 140 millimoles per liter (mmol/L) were 30 percent more at risk of suffering from cognitive impairment at baseline and 37 percent more at risk of experiencing cognitive decline over time in comparison to men with sodium levels of 141 to 142 mmol/L.
  • Furthermore, a high serum sodium of 143 to 153 mmol/L was found to be associated with cognitive decline over time.
  • The study researchers believe that increasing awareness of the impact of sodium levels may help preserve cognition as individuals age.

In conclusion, the findings of the study indicate that low blood sodium levels are associated with cognitive impairment and decline in cognitive function in older adults.

Journal Reference:

Kristen L. Nowak, Kristine Yaffe, Eric S. Orwoll, Joachim H. Ix, Zhiying You, Elizabeth Barrett-Connor, Andrew R. Hoffman, Michel Chonchol. SERUM SODIUM AND COGNITION IN OLDER COMMUNITY-DWELLING MEN. Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, 2018. DOI: 10.2215/CJN.07400717

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