Missed - Medical Breakthroughs

Americans get less than half the daily required amount of potassium

Public Release: 13-Nov-2016

Most Americans consume too much sodium, not enough potassium

Poster: S2068 – Session: LF.APS.P44

American Heart Association

NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 13, 2016 — A majority of Americans consume too much sodium and not enough potassium, according to a preliminary study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2016.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) researchers analyzed 24-hour urine excretions — the gold standard measure for sodium intake — from a sample of 827 U.S. adults, aged 20 to 69, participating in the 2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. This is the first nationally-representative estimate of U.S. sodium intake based on 24-hour urine excretions.

They found:

Average daily sodium intake was 3,662 milligrams (mg).

Intake was higher among men than women, but did not significantly differ by race or ethnicity, body mass index or physical activity level.

Nearly 90 percent of participants consumed more than 2,300 mg of sodium, the upper level recommended by Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020.

Average daily potassium intake was 2,202 mg and varied by sex and race-ethnicity.

Women tended to have lower potassium levels than men and blacks tended to have the least potassium, versus whites who had the most.

Adequate potassium intake is 4,700 mg or more, suggesting Americans are not consuming enough in their diets.

Because of the health risks associated with excess sodium and inadequate potassium, monitoring intake is key to shaping effective dietary policies and interventions, researchers said.

For optimal heart-health, the American Heart Association recommends people aim to eat no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day.

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Mary E. Cogswell, R.N., Dr.P.H.; CDC, Atlanta, Georgia.

Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at http://www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

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