(HealthDay News) — For patients with type 2 diabetes, higher urinary potassium excretion is associated with decreased risk for renal and cardiovascular (CV) events, according to a study published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Shin-ichi Araki, MD, PhD, from the Shiga University of Medical Science in Otsu, Japan, and colleagues examined the correlation of urinary potassium and sodium excretion with the incidence of renal failure and cardiovascular disease (CVD) in 623 patients with type 2 diabetes. Patients were enrolled between 1996 and 2003 and followed for a median period of 11 years.

The researchers found that 134 primary end points occurred during follow-up. Higher urinary potassium excretion, but not sodium excretion, correlated with lower risk for the primary end point of renal and CV events (renal replacement therapy, myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease). 

Compared with the lower quartile, the third and fourth quartile of urinary potassium excretion had adjusted hazard ratios of 0.56 and 0.33, respectively, for the primary end point. Correlations were similar for secondary renal end points. 

The annual decline rate in estimated glomerular filtration rate was significantly slower in the fourth quartile of urinary potassium excretion vs the first quartile.

“Higher urinary potassium excretion was associated with the slower decline of renal function and the lower incidence of cardiovascular complications in type 2 diabetic patients with normal renal function,” the researchers wrote.

The study was partially funded by grants from AstraZeneca and MSD.


  1. Araki S-I, Haneda M, Koya D, et al. Urinary Potassium Excretion and Renal and Cardiovascular Complications in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes and Normal Renal Function. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2015;doi:10.2215/​CJN.00980115.