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High Sodium, Low Potassium Diet Linked to Increased Risk of Death

High Sodium, Low Potassium Diet Linked to Increased Risk of Death

Tuesday, 02 August 2011

A recent study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found 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. The study analyzing the relationship being sodium and potassium intake and mortality rates was the first of its kind.

The results indicate a need for immediate action by people of all ages and backgrounds to reduce their sodium intake. U.S. adults consume an average of 3,300 milligrams of sodium per day, more than twice the current recommended limit for most Americans. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 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, which makes up about half the U.S. population ages 2 and older. Everyone else should have no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day.

In general, people who reduce their sodium consumption, increase their potassium consumption, or do both, benefit from improved blood pressure and reduce their risk for developing other serious health problems. High blood pressure is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, the leading cause of on-duty firefighter fatalities each year.

Find out more about the study here. For more information about nutrition and your health, visit www.healthy-firefighter.org.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention