Atlanta, GA—A recently published article in the Archives of Internal Medicine suggests that high sodium intake coupled with low potassium intake is linked to cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Quanhe Yang from the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention and his team analyzed data on 12,267 participants in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Linked Mortality File to determine their potassium and sodium intake.

“Examining the joint effects of sodium and potassium intakes on [cardiovascular disease (CVD)] risk is particularly important because most of the U.S. population consumes more sodium and less potassium daily than recommended,” study authors note.

After the follow-up period of 14.8 years, it was discovered that 2,270 of the trials’ participants were deceased. And, 825 of these fatalities were tied to CVD, while 433 of the deaths were associated with ischemic heart disease (IHD). Researchers found that greater sodium intake was linked to increased all-cause mortality, whereas a higher potassium intake was related to a lower mortality risk.

Of importance, CVD and IHD risks were greatly associated with a higher sodium-potassium ratio. Say the authors, “In summary, our findings indicate that higher sodium-potassium ratio is associated with significantly increased risk of CVD and all-cause mortality in the general U.S. population.” Also, noted authors, “Public health recommendations should emphasize simultaneous reduction in sodium intake and increase in potassium intake.”

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, September 2011