Beyond the Headlines
Insights on Potassium Supplementation for the Treatment of Hypertension From the Canadian Hypertension Education Program Guidelines (CHEP)
This article requires a subscription to view the full text. If you have a subscription you may use the login form below to view the article. Access to this article can also be purchased.
The Canadian Hypertension Education Program guidelines (CHEP) are the first major recommendations that incorporate SPRINT (Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial) results for clinical practice. These changes will certainly have a major impact on the treatment of blood pressure for individuals with a high cardiovascular disease risk. However, what may be equally noteworthy, although seemingly less provocative, is the recommendation for the nonpharmacological treatment of blood pressure with dietary potassium intake for patients who are not at high risk for hyperkalemia.1
Increased potassium intake is included as a healthy behavior and receives the only Grade A recommendation in this section other than sodium reduction. The CHEP guidelines base their recommendation largely on the evidence from a meta-analysis of 22 studies in which potassium supplementation reduced systolic blood pressure (SBP) by 3.5 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by 2.0 mm Hg.2 However, participants with hypertension had a SBP reduction of 5.3 mm Hg, those taking antihypertensive medications had a 5.9 mm Hg reduction, and those with >4 g of sodium intake per day had a 6.9 mm Hg reduction. Increased potassium intake is also particularly efficacious in black persons with as little as 20 meq resulting in a 7 mm Hg SBP reduction.3 Therefore, potassium supplementation can be expected to …