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March 27, 2018

Measurements of 24-Hour Urinary Sodium and Potassium Excretion: Importance and Implications

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Nephrology-Hypertension, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego
  • 2Division of Preventive Medicine, Department of Family Medicine and Public Health, University of California, San Diego
JAMA. 2018;319(12):1201-1202. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.1153

Almost 50 years ago, sodium reduction was identified as a national priority at the 1969 White House Conference on Food Nutrition and Health,1 yet adherence to recommended sodium levels remains an elusive public health goal. Similarly, underconsumption of potassium has been a public health concern for decades. Excessive sodium intake is etiologically related to hypertension and cardiovascular diseases, and these conditions contribute significantly to morbidity, mortality, and health care costs.2,3 Furthermore, estimates of the health and financial benefits of sodium reduction are substantial.4 Physiologically, the actions of sodium and potassium are inter-related and low potassium intake is also etiologically related to high blood pressure.