Elevated potassium levels are associated with elevated blood pressure, a new study shows.

In fact, elevated potassium levels can cause hypertension in people with normal or elevated blood pressures, according to the study published online Feb. 17 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

The results also could have implications for managing people with hypertension, said study co-author Jody M. Johnson, MD, an associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.

People with hypertension are at increased risk of developing cardiovascular events and heart disease, the researchers found.

“This is a finding that raises serious concerns for people with elevated potassium,” Johnson said.

“Potassium is a key factor in regulating blood pressure and has been shown to play a role in cardiovascular health.”

The research was supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, and the National Institutes of Health.

The findings were presented at the American College of Cardiology annual meeting in Orlando, Florida.

The American Heart Association is the world’s largest association of cardiologists.

For more news, visit www.heart.org.

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