Susanna C. Larsson, Ph.D.

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm have found that dietary potassium intake is inversely associated with risk of stroke, in particular ischemic stroke. A higher intake of potassium (1000 mg) compared to a lower intake was associated with as much as 11 percent reduction in the ischemic stroke risk, 5 percent reduction in intracerebral hemorrhage, but 8 percent increase in the risk of subarachnoid hemorrhage. The study was based on data from prospective studies of 268,276 participants with 8695 cases of stroke reported in Pubmed database from Januar 1966 through March 2011.


Larsson SC, Orsini N, Wolk A.

Dietary Potassium Intake and Risk of Stroke: A Dose-Response Meta-Analysis of Prospective Studies.
Stroke. 2011 Jul 28. [Epub ahead of print]


Background and Purpose:
Potassium intake has been inconsistently associated with risk of stroke. Our aim was to conduct a meta-analysis of prospective studies to assess the relation between potassium intake and stroke risk.

Pertinent studies were identified by a search of PubMed from January 1966 through March 2011 and by reviewing the reference lists of retrieved articles. We included prospective studies that reported relative risks with 95% CIs of stroke for ≥3 categories of potassium intake or for potassium intake analyzed as a continuous variable. Study-specific results were pooled using a random-effects model.

Ten independent prospective studies, with a total of 8695 stroke cases and 268 276 participants, were included in the meta-analysis. We observed a statistically significant inverse association between potassium intake and risk of stroke. For every 1000-mg/day increase in potassium intake, the risk of stroke decreased by 11% (pooled relative risk, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.83 to 0.97). In the 5 studies that reported results for stroke subtypes, the pooled relative risks were 0.89 (95% CI, 0.81 to 0.97) for ischemic stroke, 0.95 (95% CI, 0.83 to 1.09) for intracerebral hemorrhage, and 1.08 (95% CI, 0.92 to 1.27) for subarachnoid hemorrhage.

Dietary potassium intake is inversely associated with risk of stroke, in particular ischemic stroke.


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