News Release

High dietary sodium and potassium may worsen chronic kidney disease

Reducing intake may safeguard patients' health

Peer-Reviewed Publication

American Society of Nephrology


  • High urinary excretion levels of both sodium and potassium were linked with faster progression of chronic kidney disease.
  • Patients with chronic kidney disease tend to consume sodium above the recommended daily limit.
  • An estimated 26 million people in the United States have chronic kidney disease.

Washington, DC (September 17, 2015) -- High dietary intake of sodium and potassium may speed the progression of kidney disease, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN). The findings could impact dietary recommendations to help safeguard patients' health.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a major public health challenge because it is common, frequently progresses to kidney failure, and increases risk of heart disease and premature death. Diet may play an important role in CKD progression, but little is known about the role of certain dietary components such as sodium and potassium.

To investigate, Jiang He, MD, PhD (Tulane University) and his colleagues collected yearly urine samples from 3939 patient with CKD to estimate the patients' dietary sodium and potassium intake. The researchers found that high urinary excretion levels of both sodium and potassium were linked with faster disease progression. In addition, the study's participants consumed an average of 3700 mg of sodium per day, which is much higher than the recommended 2400 mg per day limit.

"These data warrant future clinical trials to test the effect of a moderate reduction in dietary sodium and potassium intake on CKD progression in patients with high dietary sodium or potassium intake," said Dr. He. "The findings could ultimately impact dietary recommendations for patients with CKD to slow disease progression."


Study co-authors include Katherine Mills, PhD, Lawrence Appel, MD, MPH, Wei Yang, PhD, Jing Chen, MD, MS, Belinda Lee, MD, Sylvia Rosas, MD, Anna Porter, MD, Gail Makos, RN, MSN, Matthew Weir, MD, L. Lee Hamm, MD, and John Kusek, PhD.

Disclosures: The authors reported no financial disclosures. The research was funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, grant number R01-DK074615.

The article, entitled "Urinary Sodium and Potassium Excretion and Chronic Kidney Disease Progression," will appear online at on September 17, 2015.

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Founded in 1966, and with more than 15,000 members, the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) leads the fight against kidney disease by educating health professionals, sharing new knowledge, advancing research, and advocating the highest quality care for patients.

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