Keywords: hydration, mortality (PubMed Search)
In a recent study in The Lancet, researchers at NIH attempted to test the hypothesis that optimal hydration may slow down the aging process.
A large proportion of people do not consume the recommended fluid amounts. This has likely become worse with our masking during the pandemic.
Previous studies in a mouse model showed that water restriction, increasing serum sodium by 5 mmol/l, shortened the mouse lifespan by 6 months which corresponds to about 15 years of human life.
Population: Data from Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study: an ongoing population-based prospective cohort study in which 15,792 45-66 year-old black (African American) and white men and women were enrolled from four US communities in 1987–1989 and followed up for more than 25 years.
Variables: 15 biomarkers and serum sodium (as a proxy for the hydration habits of study participants).
They attempted to exclude people whose serum sodium could be affected by factors other than the amount of liquids they consume. After these exclusions, 11,255 participants remained in the datase.
Authors also calculated ones biologic age by sampling 15 biomarkers characterizing performance of multiple organ systems and processes: cardiovascular (systolic blood pressure), renal (eGFR, cystatin-C, urea nitrogen, creatinine, uric acid), respiratory (FEV), metabolic (glucose, cholesterol, HbA1c, glycated albumin, fructosamine), immune/inflammatory (CRP, albumin, beta 2-microglobulin).
Conclusions: The analysis showed that middle age serum sodium >142 mmol/l is associated with a 39% increased risk to develop chronic diseases (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.39, 95% confidence interval [CI]:1.18–1.63) and >144 mmol/l with 21% elevated risk of premature mortality (HR = 1.21, 95% CI:1.02–1.45). People with serum sodium >142 mmol/l had up to 50% higher odds to be older than their chronological age (OR = 1.50, 95% CI:1.14–1.96).
Limitations: Observational study. No firm conclusions without intervention studies.
Summary: Serum sodium concentration exceeding 142 mmol/l is associated with increased risk to be biologically older, develop chronic diseases and die at younger age.
Take home: Drink more water
Dmitrieva NI, Gagarin A, Liu D, Wu CO, Boehm M. Middle-age high normal serum sodium as a risk factor for accelerated biological aging, chronic diseases, and premature mortality. EBioMedicine. 2023 Jan;87:104404.