, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 335-340
Date: 25 Jun 2008

The effects of high potassium consumption on bone mineral density in a prospective cohort study of elderly postmenopausal women

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Abstract

Summary

Few studies have investigated the long-term effects of potassium intake on BMD. In a cohort of 266 elderly women, we found that baseline potassium intake as reflected by 24-hour urine potassium excretion had positive association with BMD measured at 1 and/or 5 years later, suggesting a role of dietary potassium on osteoporosis prevention.

Introduction

High dietary potassium intake has been suggested to be beneficial for bone structure, but few studies have investigated the long-term effects of potassium intake on BMD in elderly women. We examined the relationship between potassium intake as reflected by 24-hour urine potassium excretion and bone density in a cohort of elderly women.

Methods

The study subjects were 266 elderly postmenopausal women aged 70–80 years. Twenty-four-hour urinary potassium excretion was determined at baseline. At one year hip DXA BMD was measured, at 5 years hip and total body DXA BMD and distal radius and tibia pQCT vBMD were measured. The effects of potassium were evaluated by ANCOVA according to the quartile of baseline urinary potassium excretion.

Results

After adjustment for confounding factors, subjects in the highest quartile of urinary potassium excretion had significantly higher total hip BMD at 1 (5%) and 5 years (6%), and significantly higher total body BMD (4%) and 4% distal tibia total (7%) and trabecular vBMD (11%) at 5 years than those in the lowest quartile.

Conclusions

Potassium intake shows positive association with bone density in elderly women, suggesting that increasing consumption of food rich in potassium may play a role in osteoporosis prevention.