Sodium and potassium intakes and their ratio in adults (18–90 y): Findings from the Irish national adult nutrition survey

Eoin Morrissey, Miriam Giltinan, Laura Kehoe, Anne P. Nugent, Breige A. McNulty, Albert Flynn, Janette Walton*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
34 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

An individual’s sodium to potassium intake ratio (Na:K) has been shown to be an important predictor of hypertension. The aim of this study was to estimate the mean 24 h urinary Na, K and Na:K of Irish adults and to identify the foods that determine Na:K in a nationally representative sample of Irish adults. This study was based on data from the Irish National Adult Nutrition Survey (2008–2010) (NANS), which collected spot urine samples and dietary data in a nationally representative sample of Irish adults aged 18+ years. The mean urinary molar Na:K of Irish men and women was 1.90 and 2.15, respectively, which exceed target molar ratios of ≤1.0 and ≤2.0. The mean estimated 24-h urinary excretion of Na was 4631 mg for men and 3525 mg for women, which exceed target maximum population intakes for all gender and age groups. The mean estimated 24-h urinary excretion of K was 3894 mg for men and 2686 mg for women, with intakes in women of all ages and older men (65+ years) below current recommendations. The key foods positively associated with a lower Na:K were fruits, vegetables, potatoes, breakfast cereals, milk, yogurt and fresh meat, while the foods negatively associated with a lower Na:K were breads, cured and processed meats and butters and fat spreads. Strategies to reduce sodium and increase potassium intakes are necessary to lower population Na:K, which may help to reduce the burden of hypertension-related diseases in the Irish population.

Original languageEnglish
Article number938
Number of pages12
JournalNutrients
Volume12
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020

Keywords

  • Hypertension
  • Potassium
  • Salt
  • Sodium
  • Sodium to potassium ratio

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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