Potassium and fruit and vegetable intakes in relation to social determinants and access to produce in New York City

Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Nov;98(5):1282-8. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.059204. Epub 2013 Sep 11.


Background: Potassium-rich diets are inversely associated with blood pressure. Potassium intake before this study had not been objectively measured by using potassium excretion in a population-based sample in the United States.

Objectives: The objectives of the analysis were to 1) report mean potassium excretion in a diverse urban population by using 24-h urine collections, 2) corroborate potassium excretion by using self-reported fruit and vegetable consumption, and 3) characterize associations between potassium excretion and socioeconomic indicators and access to produce.

Design: Participants were from the 2010 Community Health Survey Heart Follow-Up Study-a population-based study including data from 24-h urine collections. The final sample of 1656 adults was weighted to be representative of New York City (NYC) adults as a whole.

Results: Mean urinary potassium excretion was 2180 mg/d, and mean self-reported fruit and vegetable intake was 2.5 servings/d. Adjusted urinary potassium excretion was 21% lower in blacks than in whites (P < 0.001), 13% lower in non-college graduates than in college graduates (P < 0.001), and 9% lower in the lowest-income than in the highest-income group (P = 0.03). Potassium excretion was correlated with fruit and vegetable intake. Most NYC residents reported a <10-min walk to fresh fruit and vegetables; this indicator of access was not associated with potassium excretion or fruit and vegetable intake.

Conclusions: Potassium intake is low in NYC adults, especially in lower socioeconomic groups. Innovative programs that increase fruit and vegetable intake may help increase dietary potassium and reduce hypertension-related disease. This trial is registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01889589.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Fruit*
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • New York City
  • Potassium, Dietary / administration & dosage*
  • Potassium, Dietary / urine
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vegetables*
  • Young Adult


  • Potassium, Dietary

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01889589