Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between sodium and potassium intakes and blood pressure (BP) in a clinical sample.
Methods: Secondary analysis of baseline data from 328 participants (mean age: 43.6 ± 8 y, mean body mass index [BMI]: 32.4 ± 4.2 kg/m2, mean systolic BP [SBP]/diastolic BP [DBP]: 124.9 ± 14.5/73.3 ± 9.9 mm Hg) of the 12-mo HealthTrack randomized controlled weight loss trial was conducted. Resting BP and 24-h urine sodium and potassium were measured. Dietary intake was evaluated with 4-d food records and self-reported diet histories.
Results: Urinary sodium was positively correlated (Spearman's rho) with SBP (r = 0.176; P = 0.001) and DBP (r = 0.150; P = 0.003). The ratio of sodium to potassium was positively correlated with SBP (r = 0.1; P = 0.035). Urinary sodium (F [4,323] = 20.381; P < 0.0005; adjusted R2 = 0.231) and sodium-to-potassium ratio (F[4,323] = 25.008; P < 0.0005; adjusted R2 = 0.227) significantly predicted SBP after controlling for age, sex, BMI, and hypertension medication use. Dietary sodium and potassium significantly predicted urinary sodium (B = 0.33, t = 4.032, P < 0.01) and potassium (B = 0.67, t = 8.537, P < 0.01) excretion, respectively, after adjustment for energy and BMI. Median dietary sodium intake was 3197 mg/d and median dietary potassium intake was 2886 mg/d. Cereal-based products and dishes were the major contributors (22%) to total sodium intake.
Conclusions: In the present study, a high dietary sodium intake and high sodium-to-potassium ratio predicted high SBP. This suggests a need to focus dietary advice on reduction of sources of sodium and increasing sources of potassium in weight loss interventions to improve BP control.