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The signs and symptoms of heart failure

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A study, published in the European Heart Journal, found that staying well-hydrated is linked with a lower risk of heart failure. Their findings suggest that drinking a sufficient amount of fluids not only supports your bodily functions but can also cut the risk of “severe” heart problems.

While you might occasionally forget to fill up your glass or a water bottle, new research stressed the importance of drinking enough water.

Researchers from the National Institutes of Health warned that not having enough of the liquid could hike your risk of heart problems.

Dr Natalia Dmitrieva of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute said: “Our study suggests that maintaining good hydration can prevent or at least slow down the changes within the heart that lead to heart failure.

“The findings indicate that we need to pay attention to the amount of fluid we consume every day and take action if we find that we drink too little.”

In case you’re not aware, heart failure describes a chronic condition which develops when your heart doesn’t pump enough blood.

More common in adults over the age of 65, heart failure targets around 900, rheumatoid arthritis medicines supplements 000 people in the UK, according to the NHS.

The first research pointing to this link was the team’s preclinical study that suggested a connection between dehydration and cardiac fibrosis, a hardening of the heart muscles.

They analysed data from more than 15,000 adults, aged between 45 to 66, who enrolled in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study between the years 1987 to 1989.

These participants had to share information from medical visits over a 25-year period.

The research team then selected subjects for a retrospective review, focusing on those with hydration levels within a normal range who did not have diabetes, obesity, or heart failure at the start of the study.

This brought the number of participants to around 11,814 adults, with 1,366 of them later going on to develop heart failure.

To assess the links with hydration, the team looked at the hydration status of the participants using several clinical measures.

They examined levels of serum sodium, which rises when your body’s fluid levels drop.

This factor was “especially useful” in helping to identify those with a higher risk for developing heart failure.

Those with serum sodium levels of 142.5-143 mEq/L at middle age were 62 percent more likely to develop left ventricular hypertrophy – enlargement and thickening of the walls of your heart’s main pumping chamber.

And serum sodium levels starting at 143 mEq/L were linked to a staggering 102 percent increased risk for left ventricular hypertrophy and a 54 percent increased risk for heart failure.

While a randomised, controlled trial will be necessary to confirm these preliminary findings, the early associations suggest that good hydration may help prevent or slow the progression of changes within the heart that can lead to heart failure.

If you’re unsure if you’re drinking enough, Phillipa Atkinson-Clow, General Manager of The Water Dispenser & Hydration Association (WHA) suggested looking into the toilet bowl.

She said: “One of the best ways to quickly see if you’re drinking enough is to look at the colour of your urine.

“It should be pale lemon in colour. If it’s darker, drink up. The good news is that downing a glass or two of water will help restore your fluid levels very quickly.”

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