Association of sodium and potassium intake with ventricular arrhythmic burden in patients with essential hypertension.J Am Soc Hypertens. 2013 Jul-Aug; 7(4):276-82.JA
Hypertensive populations suffer from an increased susceptibility to ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. A high-salt diet appears to be a major factor involved in cardiovascular complications in hypertension. We examined the relationship between dietary salt and potassium, as indicated by urinary sodium (UNa), urinary potassium (UK), and urinary sodium/potassium ratio (UNa/K), and the arrhythmic burden in patients with essential hypertension.
We included 255 consecutive adult patients with well-controlled hypertension who were being followed in the hypertension outpatient clinic of a university tertiary hospital and complained of episodes of atypical chest pain and/or palpitations. All underwent 24-hour ambulatory electrocardiograph monitoring and their UNa, UK, and UNa/K ratio from 24-hour urinary excretion specimens were evaluated.
No significant correlation was found between premature supraventricular contractions and the parameters that were examined. However, the percentage of premature ventricular contractions (PVC%) showed a weak positive association with UNa (r = 0.2; P = .001) and a moderate negative association with UK (r = -0.396; P < .001). The partial correlation coefficient of PVC% with the UNa/UK ratio remained significant even after controlling for left ventricular mass index (r = 0.437; P < .001).
A higher UNa/UK excretion ratio is significantly associated with PVCs, indicating an increased susceptibility to ventricular arrhythmias even among hypertensives with well-controlled blood pressure. Our findings reinforce recommendations for dietary interventions in those populations.