Staying hydrated is linked to reduced risk of disease
Staying hydrated is linked to reduced risk of disease

Individuals who drink plenty of fluids are more likely to live longer than those who are not well-hydrated, new evidence from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute demonstrates.

A team of researchers have found that adults who are well hydrated are less at risk of developing cardiovascular and lung disease compared to those with a lower fluid intake.

During the study, the scientists examined the serum sodium levels of more than 11,250 people over a 30-year time period.

They discovered that the participants with higher normal serum sodium levels had a shorter lifespan compared to those with medium normal serum sodium levels.

In addition, they found that the participants with serum sodium levels above 142 mEq/L were more than 60% at risk of developing chronic diseases, including peripheral artery disease, chronic lung disease, dementia, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, stroke and [type 2] diabetes.

Senior author Dr Natalia Dmitrieva said: “The results suggest that proper hydration may slow down aging and prolong a disease-free life.

“People whose serum sodium is 142 mEq/L or higher would benefit from evaluation of their fluid intake.”

Previous studies have reported that individuals with higher normal serum sodium levels are more likely to develop heart failure compared to those with lower normal serum sodium levels.

On average, females drink six to nine cups (1.5-2.2 litres) of fluids daily and males drink eight to 12 cups (2-3 litres) per day, according to the National Academies of Medicine.

Co-author Dr Manfred Boehm said: “The goal is to ensure people are taking in enough fluids, while assessing factors, like medications, that may lead to fluid loss.

“Doctors may also need to defer to a person’s current treatment plan, such as limiting fluid intake for heart failure.”

Dr Dmitrieva added: “On the global level, this can have a big impact. Decreased body water content is the most common factor that increases serum sodium, which is why the results suggest that staying well hydrated may slow down the aging process and prevent or delay chronic disease.”

Read the full study in the journal eBioMedicine.

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