Korean J Health Promot.  2020 Sep;20(3):116-124. 10.15384/kjhp.2020.20.3.116.

The Relationship between Dietary Sodium-to-Potassium Ratio and Metabolic Syndrome in Korean Adults: Using Data from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2013-2015

  • 1Department of Home Economics Education, Dongguk University-Seoul, Seoul, Korea


The dietary sodium-to-potassium ratio (Na:K) is known to have a stronger association with cardiovascular disease compared with a single intake of sodium or potassium. Accordingly, this study sought to examine the relationship between sodium-potassium intake balance and metabolic syndrome, which increases the occurrence of cardiovascular disease.
Data from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2013-2015 were used, and the subjects were 13,164 adults aged 19 years and over. This study examined sodium and potassium intake and Na:K based on Korean adults' age and sex, and analyzed food groups that contribute to adequate sodium and potassium intake based on an Na:K of 1. Correlations between Na:K, metabolic syndrome, and risk factors were examined through a multiple logistic regression analysis.
Korean adults' average daily intake of sodium was 3,976 mg, while that of potassium was 3,076 mg. Meanwhile, the Na:K was identified to be 2.33. The food group that contributed the most to potassium intake was fruits in subjects whose Na:K was below 1, and vegetables in those whose Na:K was over 1. Compared with the lowest quartile, the highest quartile in Na:K was up 19% in the probability that one would suffer from metabolic syndrome (P for trend=0.001). Also, more Na:K led to a significant increase in the risk of elevated blood pressure and elevated blood sugar (P for trend=0.015 and 0.012).
A rise in Na:K is related to a risk of hypertension and high blood sugar, and such a rise raises the prevalence rate of metabolic syndrome.


Sodium-to-potassium ratio (Na:K); Metabolic syndrome; Sodium; Potassium
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