Lower potassium levels as a harbinger of diabetes

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Type 2 diabetes - potassium as an early marker

A team of researchers found that low blood potassium levels occur in hypertensive patients if they have type 2 diabetes or a precursor to it, but not in healthy people.

The researchers led by Dr. Christine Meisinger from the Helmholtz Zentrum München with partners from the German Center for Diabetes Research in Düsseldorf. The results of their study are based on data from the KORA F4 study, which has been examining the health of thousands of citizens from the Augsburg area for over 20 years.

According to the study, low concentrations of potassium in the blood serum occur particularly frequently in hypertensive patients if they also suffer from type 2 diabetes or a precursor to the common disease. This association exists regardless of whether hypertension is treated with diuretics.

For the first time, the study was also able to demonstrate a relationship between serum potassium concentrations and prediabetes. "Modifiable risk factors can help us define risk groups for diabetes," explains Meisinger. (Source: Meisinger C et al .: Serum potassium is associated with prediabetes and newly diagnosed diabetes in hypertensive adults from the general population: The KORA F4-Study, Diabetologia online)

Image: Michael Horn / pixelio.de

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