Clinical Edge

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Dietary Sodium to Potassium Ratio and Stroke Risk

Stroke; ePub 2017 Oct 10; Willey, Gardener, et al

A higher dietary sodium to potassium (Na:K) ratio is an independent predictor of stroke risk, according to a recent study. Stroke-free participants from the Northern Manhattan Study, a population-based cohort study of stroke incidence, were followed-up for incident stroke. Baseline food frequency questionnaires were analyzed for Na and K intake. Researchers estimated the hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals for the association of Na:K with incident total stroke using multivariable Cox proportional hazards models. They found:

  • Among 2,570 participants with dietary data (mean age, 69±10 years; 64% women; 21% white; 55% Hispanic; 24% black), the mean Na:K ratio was 1.22±0.43.
  • Over a mean follow-up of 12 years, there were 274 strokes.
  • In adjusted models, a higher Na:K ratio was associated with increased risk for stroke and specifically ischemic stroke.


Willey J, Gardener H, Cespedes S, Cheung YK, Sacco RL, Elkind MSV. Dietary sodium to potassium ratio and risk of stroke in a multiethnic urban population. The Northern Manhattan Study. [Published online ahead of print October 10, 2017]. Stroke. doi:10.1161/STROKEAHA.117.017963.