Sodium and Potassium Intake, the First Step to Control Arterial Hypertension

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Maria Guedes-Marques Emanuel Ferreira Francisco Ferrer Dilva Silva Jorge Fortuna Pedro Maia Ana Figueiredo Armando Carreira

Abstract

In Portugal, Hypertension affects 43% of adults. Salt intake reduction and potassium increase are recommended for prevention and treatment of hypertension. This study was designed to determine how dietary sodium and potassium affects blood pressure (BP). Cross-sectional study of 41 patients was made in Centro Hospitalar de Coimbra. Patients BP, as well as their 24-hour urinary excretion of sodium (UNa) and potassium (UK); UNa/UK ratio was calculated. There were highly significant differences for both diastolic BP (DBP) and sistolic BP (SBP) means according to 24h-UNa and UNa/UK values (p 0.001). There was a highly correlation between BP and 24h-UNa, as well as, UNa/UK; stronger with this latest factor. Among BP values, SBP was strongly influenced by 24h-UNa and UNa/UK than DBP (Pearson 0.608 > 0.578 and 0.675 > 0.633, respectively). So, increased potassium intake
should be considered as a recommendation for prevention and treatment of hypertension, especially in those who are unable to reduce their intake of sodium.

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Research Article