Navigation Links
Potassium loss from blood pressure drugs may explain higher risk of adult diabetes

Johns Hopkins researchers have discovered that a drop in blood potassium levels caused by diuretics commonly prescribed for high blood pressure could be the reason why people on those drugs are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The drugs helpfully accelerate loss of fluids, but also deplete important chemicals, including potassium, so that those who take them are generally advised to eat bananas and other potassium-rich foods to counteract the effect.

"Previous studies have told us that when patients take diuretic thiazides, potassium levels drop and the risk of diabetes climbs to 50 percent," says lead researcher Tariq Shafi, M.D., M.H.S., of the Department of Nephrology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "Now, for the first time, we think we have concrete information connecting the dots."

Thiazides, such as chlorthalidone, are an inexpensive and highly effective way to treat high blood pressure and have been used widely for decades. However, their association with diabetes has forced many hypertension suffers to use other medications that can be several times as expensive, says Shafi.

"This study shows us that as long as physicians monitor and regulate potassium levels, thiazides could be used safely, saving patients thousands of dollars a year," says Shafi. "It could be as simple as increasing the consumption of potassium-rich foods like bananas and oranges and/or reducing salt intake, both of which will keep potassium from dropping."

Researchers examined data from 3,790 nondiabetic participants in the Systolic Hypertension in Elderly Program (SHEP). SHEP is a randomized clinical trial conducted between 1985 and 1991 designed to determine the risk versus benefit of giving a certain high blood pressure medication to people age 60 years or older.

Half of the subjects were treated with chlorthalidone and half with a fake drug. Of the 3,790 subjects, 1,603 were men and 724 were nonwhite. None had a history of diabetes. In the original study, potassium levels were monitored as a safety precaution to guard against irregular heartbeat, a condition that can result from low potassium.

The results, published online this month in the journal Hypertension, showed that for each 0.5 milliequivalent-per-liter (MEq/L) decrease in serum potassium, there was a 45 percent increased risk of diabetes. None of the people in the group receiving the fake drug developed low potassium levels. Shafi says these findings should encourage physicians to establish a potassium baseline by checking hypertensive patients' medical records to determine their potassium levels before prescribing thiazides.

"We would normally look at the number only after six weeks of treatment to make sure it was not low enough to cause heart problems. As a result, we might not be aware that it dropped significantly from where it was before treatment putting the patient at risk for developing diabetes," says Shafi.


Contact: Eric Vohr
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

Related medicine news :

1. Lack of Potassium Linked to High Blood Pressure
2. Low potassium linked to high blood pressure
3. Unilever Unveils Promise(R) SuperShots(R) for Blood Pressure, the First Functional Shot to Increase Daily Potassium Intake to Help Reduce the Risk of High Blood Pressure
4. Watson Receives FDA Approval of Potassium Chloride Extended-Release Capsules
5. A drug-sensitive traffic cop tells potassium channels to get lost
6. Continuous Blood Pressure Monitoring Predicts Risks
7. Gulf Coast Hospital Chooses Global Med Technologies(R) Blood System
8. High Blood Pressure Stalks Many Americans
9. New Study Data: JANUVIA™ (sitagliptin) Significantly Reduced Blood Sugar Levels and Was Not Associated with Hypoglycemia in Elderly Patients with Type 2 Diabetes
10. A simple blood test for colon cancer
11. Turkey Tips, Massage, and a Blood Test: St. Anthonys Celebrates Diabetes Day in New Green Clinic
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... has focused on providing comprehensive solutions involving adult stem cell therapies to patients ... officially deemed the “Regenestem” name as a Registered Trademark (RTM). , Organizations are ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Genesis Chiropractic Software helps practice owners automate ... between the practice owner and the patient that automatically manages all five aspects ... Click here to learn more. , According to Dr. Brian ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... New patients who wish ... referral for dental implants at her Mississauga, ON practice. Dr. Williams has ... the placement of dental implants. , Missing teeth can lead to a variety ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... FRANCISCO, CA (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 ... ... half-cup sizes, has launched their Black Friday sale a week early, offering 40% ... continues to transform the intimate apparel industry through both mobile fit technology and ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... DMG Productions announced that they will feature ... quarter 2016 via Discovery Channel. Dates and show times TBA. , Aphria, Inc., is ... the business of producing and supplying medical marijuana pursuant to the Marijuana for Medical ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... November 25, 2015 ... addition of the  "Global Drug Device ... to their offering.  --> ... of the  "Global Drug Device Combination ... their offering.  --> Research ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 WuXi PharmaTech (Cayman) Inc. ("WuXi" or ... R&D capability and technology platform company serving the pharmaceutical, ... China and the United ... general meeting of shareholders held today, the Company,s shareholders ... approve the previously announced agreement and plan of merger ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... CARLOS, Calif. , Nov. 24, 2015 ... a leader in non-invasive genetic testing and ... announced that it will present at the ... in New York on Wednesday, December 2, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. ET.  Matthew ... the Company,s financial results, business activities and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: