Science & Tech

Not drinking enough water increases your risk of death by 20%, study finds

The secret to a long and healthy life? Drink water

If people don’t drink enough water, they increase their chances of death by 20 per cent, a study stated.

In a recent study shared with the medical journal The Lancet, researchers from the National Institutes of Health discovered adults who don’t have enough hydration could age quicker and have a higher chance of chronic diseases that cause premature death.

The researchers conducted this study over the course of 25 years, analyzing medical visits from 11,000 US adults from the ages of 45 to 66 and then their follow-up visits at ages 70 to 90.

In the study, hydration was tracked in people by monitoring how much sodium was in their blood. The higher the sodium levels were, the less hydrated the people were.

Fortunately, all of the 11,000 participants’ hydration was within a standard range, as their blood-sodium concentrations ranged from 135 to 146 millimoles per liter.

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Those who were on the higher end of that range, which is more than 144 millimoles per litre were 50 per cent more inclined to show physiological signs of aging.

These include high cholesterol and sugar levels and physical indications like dry skin and sunken eyes.

And even more baffling was that close to 20 per cent of those participants had an increased risk for early death.

They also have a likelihood of developing fatal diseases like diabetes, heart failure, and dementia.

“Risk to develop these diseases increases as we age and accumulate damages in various tissues in the body,” Natalia Dmitrieva, the study’s lead author, wrote in an email to NBC news.

She is also a researcher at the NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

In another study from March 2022 published in the European Health Journal, Dmitrieva and other researchers also noted that dehydration can lead to a path of increased heart failure.

According to The US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, drinking eight glasses of water a day is doable, but the average daily fluid intake needed is around 15.5 cups (3.7 litres) for men and around 11.5 cups (2.7 litres) for women.

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