HealthDay News — High potassium intake in older female patients is associated with lower stroke and all-cause mortality risk, according to researchers.

“Dietary potassium has been associated with lower risk of stroke, but there are little data on dietary potassium effects on different stroke subtypes or in older women with hypertension and nonhypertension,” explained Arjuan Seth, of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, and colleagues in Stroke.

To ascertain the relationship between potassium intake and stroke risk, the inspectors followed 90,137 postmenopausal female patients aged 50 to 79 years at enrollment. The patients were free of stroke history at baseline and were followed for an average of 11 years.

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Mean dietary potassium intake was 2,611 mg/day. The incidence of ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke and total mortality was lower among patients in the highest quartile of potassium intake.

Comparing the highest and lowest quartiles of potassium intake revealed hazard ratios of 0.90 for all-cause mortality, 0.88 for all stroke, and 0.84 for ischemic stroke. In women without hypertension, the effect on ischemic stroke was stronger; their risk was 27% lower (interaction P< 0.10). There was no association between potassium intake and hemorrhagic stroke.

“High potassium intake is associated with a lower risk of all stroke and ischemic stroke, as well as all-cause mortality in older women, particularly those who are not hypertensive,” concluded the researchers.


  1. Seth A et al. Stroke. 2014; doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.114.006046