The INTERSALT study: results for 24 hour sodium and potassium, by age and sex. INTERSALT Co-operative Research Group

J Hum Hypertens. 1989 Oct;3(5):323-30.


The relations by age and sex of urinary sodium, potassium and sodium/potassium ratio to blood pressure were examined in the 5,045 men and 5,034 women of the INTERSALT Study. With adjustment for age, and combining (pooling) regression coefficients over the 52 centres of the study, sodium excretion was positively and significantly related to the blood pressure of individuals in both men and women. These positive and significant relationships were also found in seven of eight age-sex specific analyses. In most analyses, z-scores suggested stronger associations in women than in men: the size of regression coefficients in women was as much as twice that of the corresponding coefficients in men. In age-specific analyses for men and women combined, sodium excretion was positively related to blood pressure, significantly so for systolic pressure at all ages and for diastolic pressure at ages 50-59; regression coefficients tended to be larger at older compared to younger ages. Results for sodium/potassium ratio in individuals were similar to those for sodium, being stronger in women than in men, and (at least for systolic pressure) at older compared to younger ages. With adjustment for confounding variables, potassium excretion was negatively and significantly related to the blood pressure of individuals; again these relationships tended to be more marked at older ages. Across the centres, median sodium excretion was positively and significantly related to the slope of systolic and diastolic blood pressure with age in men, in both the 52 and 48 centre analyses, and with and without adjustment for confounding variables.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Blood Pressure*
  • Diastole
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology*
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Hypertension / urine
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic*
  • Potassium / urine*
  • Sex Factors
  • Sodium / urine*
  • Systole


  • Sodium
  • Potassium