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Association of dietary sodium:potassium ratio with the metabolic syndrome in Chinese adults

  • Xiaocheng Li (a1), Baofu Guo (a2), Di Jin (a1), Yanli Wang (a1), Yun Jiang (a1), Baichun Zhu (a1), Yang Chen (a1), Liankai Ma (a1), Han Zhou (a1) and Guoxiang Xie (a1)...


Several epidemiological studies have investigated that Na or K intakes might be associated with the metabolic syndrome (MetS). However, little evidence has evaluated the association between Na:K ratio and the MetS. In this study, we assessed the association between the dietary Na:K ratio and the MetS. The cross-sectional study was conducted among adults aged 18 years and older in Nanjing, using a multi-stage random sampling method, which resulted in a sample size of 1993 participants. Dietary Na and K intakes were assessed by 3 consecutive days of dietary recollection combined with condiments weighing method. Health-related data were obtained by standardised questionnaires, as well as physical examinations and laboratory assessments. The prevalence rate of the MetS was 36·5 % (728/1993). After adjusting for various lifestyle and dietary factors of the MetS, participants in the highest quartile of dietary Na:K ratio were at a higher risk of developing MetS (OR=1·602; 95 % CI 1·090, 2·353) compared with those in the lowest quartile. Each 1-sd increase in dietary Na:K ratio was associated with a higher risk of prevalent MetS (OR=1·166; 95 % CI: 1·018, 1·336). Among the components of the MetS, dietary Na:K ratio was positively associated with high blood pressure (quartile 3 v. quartile 1: OR=1·656; 95 % CI 1·228, 2·256) and hypertriacylglycerolaemia (quartile 4 v. quartile1: OR=1·305; 95 % CI 1·029, 1·655) in multivariate analysis. These results revealed that higher dietary Na:K ratio significantly increased the risk of the MetS in Chinese adults. Further studies are needed to verify this association.


Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: G. Xie, fax +86 25 8353 8336, email


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