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Higher Sodium-Potassium Ratio Linked to Mortality Risk

Higher sodium and potassium intake linked to higher and lower all-cause mortality, respectively

MONDAY, July 11 (HealthDay News) -- A higher sodium-potassium ratio is associated with increased risk for all-cause, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and ischemic heart disease (IHD) mortality in the United States, according to a study published online July 11 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Quanhe Yang, Ph.D., from the Office of Public Health Genomics in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues investigated the joint effects of dietary sodium and potassium intake on mortality risk. Data were collected from 12,267 adults who participated in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The associations between estimated typical intakes of sodium and potassium and their ratio, and the risk of all-cause, CVD, and IHD mortality were investigated.

The investigators found that a total of 2,270 deaths occurred during the mean follow-up of 14.8 years, including 825 which were attributed to CVD and 443 to IHD. Higher sodium intake was significantly correlated with all-cause mortality (hazard ratio [HR], 1.20) after multivariable adjustment. In contrast, a higher potassium intake was significantly correlated with decreased mortality risk (HR, 0.80). Comparing the highest quartile of sodium to potassium ratios to the lowest quartile had an adjusted HR of 1.46, 1.46, and 2.15 for all-cause, CVD, and IHD mortality, respectively. The increased risk was similar across gender, race/ethnicity, body mass index, hypertension status, physical activity, and educational attainments.

"A higher sodium-potassium ratio is associated with significantly increased risk of CVD and all-cause mortality, and higher sodium intake is associated with increased total mortality in the general U.S. population," the authors write.

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