Methacholine airway responsiveness and 24-hour urine excretion of sodium and potassium. The Normative Aging Study

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1991 Sep;144(3 Pt 1):722-5. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm/144.3_Pt_1.722.


Prior studies have suggested a direct relationship between dietary sodium intake and nonspecific airway responsiveness. The relationship of dietary sodium and potassium intake to methacholine airway responsiveness was examined among 273 male participants of the Normative Aging Study (age range 44 to 82 yr) using 24-h urinary excretion of these cations as a surrogate for intake. Methacholine airway responsiveness was analyzed as dose-response slope, a continuous measure of responsiveness that represents the slope of a line connecting the origin to the last point of the dose-response plot. Greater airway responsiveness to methacholine was associated with greater potassium excretion. A significant relationship between methacholine dose-response slope and potassium excretion (p = 0.014) was observed in multivariate analysis that took into account other covariates, including age, percentage of predicted FEV1, cigarette smoking, and skin test reactivity. In contrast, methacholine airway responsiveness did not appear related to urinary sodium excretion. These data suggest that dietary potassium may have an influence on airway responsiveness of middle-aged and older men.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bronchial Provocation Tests*
  • Creatinine / urine
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Forced Expiratory Volume / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methacholine Chloride*
  • Middle Aged
  • Potassium / urine*
  • Sodium / urine*


  • Methacholine Chloride
  • Sodium
  • Creatinine
  • Potassium