Salt Taste Sensitivity and Heart Failure Outcomes Following Heart Failure Hospitalization

      Salt taste sensitivity can change after heart failure (HF) hospitalization, however the relation between changes in salt taste sensitivity with HF symptoms, biomarkers, and outcomes is unknown. We assessed salt taste sensitivity over 12 weeks following HF hospitalization using a validated, point-of-care salt taste test. Subjects were divided into 2 groups: increase or no increase in salt taste sensitivity. HF biomarkers and outcomes were compared using 2-sample t tests and log-transformed t tests for non-normally distributed parameters. Baseline characteristics generally did not differ for subjects with an increase in salt taste sensitivity over 12 weeks compared with those without an increase in salt taste sensitivity. The total number of 12-week hospital days was 60 versus 121 days, with an average number of hospital days of 5.45 [3.88] versus 11.00 [6.74] (p = 0.03) among those hospitalized in the groups with an increase versus no increase in salt taste sensitivity, respectively. In conclusion, changes in salt taste sensitivity occurred in some but not all subjects in a 12-week period following HF hospitalization. Subjects with increased salt taste sensitivity over this time period were rehospitalized for fewer days. Improved salt taste sensitivity may represent a novel prognostic factor in postdischarge patients with HF.
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