Minority Health Archive

Serum potassium and the racial disparity in diabetes risk: the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study1,2

Chatterjee, R. and Yeh, H.-C. and Shafi, T. and Anderson, C. and Pankow, J. S. and Miller, E. R. and Levine, D. and Selvin, E. and Brancati, F. L. (2011) Serum potassium and the racial disparity in diabetes risk: the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study1,2. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 93 (5). pp. 1087-1091. ISSN 0002-9165

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Low serum potassium appears to be independently associated with incident type 2 diabetes, and low dietary potassium is more common in African Americans than in whites. OBJECTIVE: We hypothesized that low serum potassium contributes to the excess risk of diabetes in African Americans. DESIGN: We analyzed data collected from 1987 to 1996 from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study. At baseline, we identified 2716 African American and 9493 white participants without diabetes. We used multivariate Cox models to estimate the relative hazards (RHs) of incident diabetes related to baseline serum potassium during 9 y of follow-up. RESULTS: Mean serum potassium concentrations were lower in African Americans than in whites at baseline (4.2 compared with 4.5 mEq/L; P < 0.01), and African Americans had a greater incidence of diabetes than did whites (26 compared with 13 cases/1000 person-years). The adjusted RHs (95% CI) of incident diabetes for those with serum potassium concentrations of <4.0, 4.0-4.4, and 4.5-4.9 mEq/L, compared with those with serum potassium concentrations of 5.0-5.5 mEq/L (referent), were 2.28 (1.21, 4.28), 1.97 (1.06, 3.65), and 1.85 (0.99, 3.47) for African Americans and 1.53 (1.14, 2.05), 1.49 (1.19, 1.87), and 1.27 (1.02, 1.58) for whites, respectively. Racial differences in serum potassium appeared to explain 18% of the excess risk of diabetes in African Americans, which is comparable with the percentage of risk explained by racial differences in body mass index (22%). CONCLUSIONS: Low serum potassium concentrations in African Americans may contribute to their excess risk of type 2 diabetes relative to whites. Whether interventions to increase serum potassium concentrations in African Americans might reduce their excess risk deserves further study. The ARIC Study is registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00005131


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Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is available at the publisher’s Web site. Access to the full text is subject to the publisher’s access restrictions.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Low serum potassium, type 2 diabetes, African Americans
Subjects: Health > Disparities
Health > Public Health > Chronic Illness & Diseases > Diabetes
Health > Public Health > Health Risk Factors
Research > studies
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Depositing User: Users 141 not found.
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2011 16:00
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2011 16:00
Link to this item (URI): http://health-equity.pitt.edu/id/eprint/2737

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