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An examination of the association of cognitive functioning, adherence to sodium restriction and Na/K ratios in Korean heart failure patients

An examination of the association of cognitive functioning, adherence to sodium restriction and Na/K ratios in Korean heart failure patients
cognitive functioning; dietary guidelines; heart failure; sodium-potassium ratio
Issue Date
JOURNAL OF CLINICAL NURSING, v. 25, NO 11-12, Page. 1766-1776
Aims and objectivesMaintaining adequate ratios of sodium-to-potassium requires heart failure patients to be adherent to recommended dietary guidelines. A potential deterrent to adherence is poor cognitive functioning. The aims of this study were to (1) estimate dietary sodium and potassium intake and sodium-to-potassium ratios and (2) examine the associations between cognitive functioning and sodium-to-potassium ratios. BackgroundCognitive impairment may impact levels of adherence and subsequently sodium-to-potassium ratios; however, little is known about the relationship of cognitive functioning, adherence to dietary restrictions and sodium-to-potassium ratios. DesignThis study used a descriptive correlational design. MethodsFace-to-face interviews were conducted with heart failure patients with preserved or reduced left ventricular ejection fraction. Standard cognitive measures were used and included neuropsychological tests of global cognition, immediate and delayed recall, and executive function. Further, patients were instructed to complete a three-day food diary as an indirect measure of sodium-to-potassium intake. ResultsNinety-one Korean patients with heart failure participated in this study (age 57years, women 33%, education 10years). A major underlying cause for heart failure was dilated cardiomyopathy (40%), followed by ischaemic cause (24%); the mean heart failure duration was 37months. Average sodium intake was 3982mg/day, with men consuming a significantly higher amount than women (4207 vs. 3523mg). Potassium intake was 2583mg/day, with both men and women consuming similarly insufficient amounts. Sodium-to-potassium ratio was 160, with men having a significantly elevated ratio compared with women (168 vs. 144). Cognitive function by sodium-to-potassium quartile groups showed nonlinear associations. ConclusionParticipants in the study consumed excessive sodium and insufficient potassium; correspondingly, elevated sodium-to-potassium ratios showed significant associations with cognitive function (memory). Relevance to clinical practiceDietary guidelines tailored to levels of cognitive function as well as Korean dining culture may be important in ensuring sodium-to-potassium balance in these heart failure patients.
0962-1067; 1365-2702
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