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.