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Posted on 12 Jul 2011 in Latest |

CDC Says High Sodium Low Potassium Diet Linked to Risk of Death

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Calls For Change in Americans’ Diet To Lower Risk

The CDC says that Americans who eat a diet high in sodium and low in potassium have a 50 percent increased risk of death from any cause, and about twice the risk of death from heart attacks, according to a study published 11 July 2011 in the Archives of Internal Medicine. The study was conducted by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Emory University and Harvard University.

The agency says that this is the first study to examine, using a nationally representative sample, the association between mortality and people’s usual intake of sodium and potassium. The study analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a survey designed to assess the health and nutritional status of adults in the United States. Usual intake of sodium and potassium is based on dietary recall.


US Sodium Consumption

“The study’s findings are particularly troubling because U.S. adults consume an average of 3,300 milligrams of sodium per day, more than twice the current recommended limit for most Americans,” said Elena Kuklina, M.D., Ph.D., an investigator on the study and a nutritional epidemiologist with CDC’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention. “This study provides further evidence to support current public health recommendations to reduce sodium levels in processed foods, given that nearly 80 percent of people’s sodium intake comes from packaged and restaurant foods. Increasing potassium intake may have additional health benefits.”

Sodium Dietary Guidelines

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting intake of sodium to 1,500 milligrams per day for people 51 and older, African Americans, and those who have high blood pressure, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease