New Study Links Salt Intake to Increased Cancer Risk in Western Diets

Written by Camilla Jessen

May.09 - 2024 4:15 PM CET

Maybe we should think twice before adding extra salt to our meals.

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Researchers from the MedUni Vienna have presented compelling evidence linking high salt intake to a heightened risk of stomach cancer in Western populations.

This finding, published in a recent publication in "Gastric Cancer," reveals that individuals who frequently add salt to their meals are approximately 40% more likely to develop stomach cancer compared to those who seldom use salt at their dining tables.

Previously, such associations were primarily observed in Asian countries, but this new study confirms similar risks in European demographics.

Breaking Down the Data

This extensive research involved data analysis from over 470,000 participants enrolled in the UK Biobank cohort study.

From 2006 to 2010, participants responded to dietary habit questionnaires, which included inquiries about their frequency of adding salt to food.

The team, led by Selma Kronsteiner-Gicevic and Tilman Kühn at MedUni's Center for Public Health, also correlated these self-reported habits with salt excretion levels in urine and national cancer registry data.

The study concluded that people who consistently added salt to their food during the study period had a 39% increased risk of developing stomach cancer over approximately eleven years, compared to those who rarely or never added salt.

"Our findings are robust, remaining consistent even after adjusting for demographic, socioeconomic, and lifestyle variables, as well as other comorbid conditions," stated Kronsteiner-Gicevic.

This groundbreaking study serves as a reminder of the potential health risks associated with excessive salt consumption.

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