Higher Intakes of Potassium and Magnesium, but Not Lower Sodium, Reduce Cardiovascular Risk in the Framingham Offspring Study

Nutrients. 2021 Jan 19;13(1):269. doi: 10.3390/nu13010269.


We explored the dose-response relations of sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in the Framingham Offspring Study, as well as the combined effects of these minerals. Analyses included 2362 30-64 year-old men and women free of CVD at baseline. Cox proportional-hazards models were used estimate adjusted hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for mineral intakes and incident CVD. Cox models with restricted cubic spline functions were used to examine dose-response relations, adjusting for confounding by age, sex, body mass index, dietary fiber intake, and time-varying occurrence of hypertension. Lower sodium intake (<2500 vs. ≥3500 mg/d) was not associated with a lower risk of CVD. In contrast, potassium intake ≥3000 (vs. <2500) mg/d was associated with a 25% lower risk (95% CI: 0.59, 0.95), while magnesium intake ≥320 (vs. <240) mg/d led to a 34% lower risk (95% CI: 0.51, 0.87) of CVD. Calcium intake ≥700 (vs. <500) mg/d was associated with a non-statistically significant 19% lower risk. Restricted cubic spline curves showed inverse dose-response relations of potassium and magnesium with CVD risk, but no such associations were observed for sodium or calcium. These results highlight the importance of potassium and magnesium to cardiovascular health.

Keywords: cardiovascular disease; potassium; sodium.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Calcium, Dietary
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Diet*
  • Female
  • Heart Disease Risk Factors*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Magnesium / administration & dosage*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Potassium, Dietary*
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Sodium, Dietary*


  • Calcium, Dietary
  • Potassium, Dietary
  • Sodium, Dietary
  • Magnesium