Sodium inTake In Chronic Kidney disease (STICK): A randomised controlled trial

Chronic kidney disease, which affects an estimated 300,000 people in Ireland and over 50 million people in the developed world, is responsible for a considerable burden of premature mortality and morbidity. All patients with chronic kidney disease are recommended low salt diets, i.e. less than a teaspoon of salt per day (which is 5-6g of salt, which contains 2 - 2.3g of sodium). The average intake in the general population is double the recommended intake, between one - two teaspoons per day, which is considered moderate intake. In patients with hypertension, reducing from moderate (average) to low intake is associated with a small reduction in blood pressure. However, achieving this low target salt intake is difficult, and can have a negative knock-on effect on other healthy dietary factors and kidney hormones. In addition, there is no convincing research to show that patients with chronic kidney disease and normal blood pressure benefit from low salt intake. In fact, the small amount of research that does exist shows that the change in kidney function is the same in people who consume low salt diets (one teaspoon) and moderate (one - two teaspoons=average intake) salt diets. Moreover, there are some small studies that report that low-salt diets may increase the risk of death due to heart disease. Given that all patients with chronic kidney impairment are recommended a low-salt diet, it is important that we confirm that this recommendation truly benefits patients. In this randomized controlled trial (the first to address this question), we determine whether recommending a low salt intake, compared to average/moderate intake, is associated with a slower rate of decline in kidney function in patients with chronic kidney impairment. The results of this study will provide information to guide future research, that will have critical implications for management of patients with chronic kidney disease.

Award Date
20 June 2014
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Professor Martin O'Donnell
Host Institution
National University of Ireland, Galway
Health Research Awards