Effects of Sodium, Potassium Consumption Differs With Blood Pressure

(HealthDay News) — In normotensive young adults, an increase in sodium/potassium ratio correlates with an increase in atrial filling fraction, while in individuals with prehypertension or hypertension it is related to an increase in left ventricular (LV) mass, according to a study published in The American Journal of Cardiology.

Bernhard Haring, MD, from the University of Würzburg in Germany, and colleagues examined whether intake of dietary sodium or potassium is related to changes in LV diastolic functioning and LV mass index. 

Echocardiographic data from 1,065 young adults (aged 18 to 39 years; 47% were normotensive and 53% had prehypertension or hypertension) were prospectively analyzed.

Compared with normotensive participants, participants with prehypertension or hypertension were older, had higher BMI and reported higher intakes of sodium, according to the data. 

In normotensive subjects, potassium intake was negatively correlated with mitral E velocity (P=.029), while sodium/potassium ratio correlated positively with atrial filling fraction (P=.017). 

In participants with prehypertension or hypertension, sodium consumption correlated positively with atrial filling fraction (P=.034) and an increase in sodium/potassium ratio correlated with higher LV mass index (P=.046).

“In conclusion, an increase in dietary sodium/potassium ratio was related to an accentuation of atrial phase LV diastolic filling in normotensive young subjects, whereas in prehypertensive or hypertensive subjects it was associated with higher LV mass index,” the researchers wrote.


  1. Haring B et al. Am J Cardiol. 2015;115(9):1244-1248.