Study Shows Potassium May Improve BP in Teen Girls

Consuming more potassium-rich foods during childhood “may help suppress the adolescent increase in blood pressure (BP),” while consumption of 3,000 mg per day of sodium or more was found to have no adverse effect on BP, according to a study of adolescent girls published April 27 in JAMA Pediatrics.

The study looked at data from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s Growth and Health Study and included 2,185 black and white girls, ages nine to 10 years, who were followed for 10 years.

The authors found no evidence that higher sodium intakes (3,000 to <4,000 mg per day and ≥4,000 mg per day vs. < 2,500 mg per day) had an adverse effect on adolescent BP, and longitudinal mixed models showed that those consuming 3,500 mg per day or more of salt had generally lower diastolic BP than girls who consumed less than 2,500 mg per day.

Results also showed that overall, girls in the highest category of potassium intake (2,400 mg per day or more) had lower late-adolescent systolic and diastolic BP than those girls who consumed less potassium.

“This prospective study showed that black and white adolescent girls who consumed more dietary potassium had lower BPs in later adolescence...This study emphasizes the need to develop methods for estimating salt sensitivity to be used in future studies of high-risk populations and points to the potential health risks associated with the existing low dietary potassium intakes among U.S. children and adolescents,” the study concludes.

Clinical Topics: Congenital Heart Disease and Pediatric Cardiology, Heart Failure and Cardiomyopathies, CHD and Pediatrics and Prevention, CHD and Pediatrics and Quality Improvement

Keywords: Adolescent, Blood Pressure, Child, Female, Pediatrics, Potassium, Potassium, Dietary, Prospective Studies, Sodium, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Chloride, Dietary, Sodium, Dietary, Systole

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