The association of potassium intake with bone mineral density and the prevalence of osteoporosis among older Korean adults

  • Ha, Jinwoo (Department of Food and Nutrition, Chung-Ang University) ;
  • Kim, Seong-Ah (Department of Food and Nutrition, Chung-Ang University) ;
  • Lim, Kyungjoon (Department of Physiology, Anatomy & Microbiology, La Trobe University) ;
  • Shin, Sangah (Department of Food and Nutrition, Chung-Ang University)
  • Received : 2019.04.29
  • Accepted : 2019.11.07
  • Published : 2020.02.01


BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Osteoporosis is characterized by low bone mass and results in vulnerability to fracture. Calcium and vitamin D are known to play an important role in bone health. Recently, potassium has been identified as another important factor in skeletal health. We examined the link between potassium intake and bone health among the Korean older adult population. SUBJECTS/METHODS: This retrospective, cross-sectional study included 8,732 men and postmenopausal women over 50 years old who completed the Korean National Health and Nutrition Survey (KNHANES) between 2008 and 2011. Potassium consumption was evaluated using a 24-hour recall method. Bone mineral density (BMD) was measured at three sites (total hip, femur neck, and lumbar spine) by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). Multinomial logistic regression was used to examine the link between potassium intake and prevalence of osteoporosis and osteopenia, after controlling for potential confounding variables. RESULTS: The BMD of the total femur and Ward's triangle were significantly different according to the potassium intake among men (P = 0.031 and P = 0.010, respectively). Women in the top tertile for potassium intake showed higher BMD than those in the bottom tertile at all measurement sites (all P < 0.05). Daily potassium intake was significantly related to a decreased risk of osteoporosis at the lumbar spine in postmenopausal women (odds ratios: 0.68, 95% confidence interval: 0.48-0.96, P trend = 0.031). However, the dietary potassium level was not related to the risk of osteoporosis in men. CONCLUSION: Current findings indicate that higher dietary potassium levels have a favorable effect on bone health and preventing osteoporosis in older Korean women.


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