Staying well-hydrated may be associated with a reduced risk for developing heart failure, according to research first presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in 2021. The findings, which recently published in the European Heart Journal, suggest that taking in sufficient amounts of fluids throughout life not only supports essential body functions, but may reduce the risk for future heart problems.
The researchers found that adults, ages 45-66, who had higher levels of normal serum sodium (which helps measure mild fluid loss), had a higher associated risk for developing heart failure later in life. After further analyzing a subsample of older adults, they also found that midlife indicators of hydration status correlated with increased risks of developing left ventricular hypertrophy, an enlargement and thickening of the heart.
“This study tells us that our hydration habits not only affect our well-being today but may have profound effects on our future heart health,” said Natalia Dmitrieva, Ph.D., the lead study author and a researcher in the Laboratory of Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine at NHLBI.
And while hydration needs vary for each person, the authors shared general guidelines of taking in about 1.5-2.1 liters of daily fluids (6-8 cups) for women and 2-3 liters (8-12 cups) for men.