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HHS Healthbeat

Sodium, potassium and staying alive

Researchers who looked at 15 years of national health data say too much sodium and too little potassium can raise the risk of dying. At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Elena Kuklina saw this in records on more than 12,000 people:

``Americans who eat a diet high in sodium and low in potassium have a 50 percent increased risk of death from any cause.’’ (10 seconds)

Kuklina says they have about twice the risk of death from heart attacks.

Americans get most of their sodium as salt, generally in processed food. They can get more potassium in fruits such as bananas and oranges, and vegetables such as potatoes and starch.

The study was in Archives of Internal Medicine.

Learn more at hhs.gov.

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