Minerals in diets linked to death from heart disease

12th July 2011

Diets rich in salt but low in potassium significantly increase the risk of dying from heart problems, new research indicates.

Past studies have suggested that higher sodium and lower potassium intakes were associated with increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

However, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other institutions in the US have now looked into what few studies have analysed: the joint effects of salt and potassium intake on risk of mortality.

Scientists looked at data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Linked Mortality File, which contains data on 12,267 people.

Their study found that all-cause risk of death for people the highest sodium and lowest potassium intake was 46 per cent greater than for those with the lowest.

"The combination of high sodium and low potassium is really a double whammy for cardiovascular risk and for mortality," said lead researcher Dr. Frank B Hu, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

The study was published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

Posted by Edward Bartel

"Sodium and Potassium Intake and Mortality Among US Adults." Quanhe Yang, PhD; Tiebin Liu, MSPH; Elena V. Kuklina, MD, PhD; W. Dana Flanders, MD, ScD; Yuling Hong, MD, PhD;Cathleen Gillespie, MS; Man-Huei Chang, MPH; Marta Gwinn, MD; Nicole Dowling, PhD; Muin J. Khoury, MD, PhD;Frank B. Hu, MD, PhD. Archives of Internal Medicine, July 2011.

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Posted by Philip Briggs

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